At the mid-year work show, the bosses’ wives smile at her, then kiss her cheek. They wear perfume which doesn’t make her sneeze and they say and how are your boys then they smile.
She says oh beautiful, yes, growing up and into the silence she says the oldest one started school.
School, started school. They shake their heads, and they are all at once looking into each other and into themselves and the silence between them is shared.
She walks to the bar, and she chooses a bottle of wine. She says four glasses please and hands them around to people she barely knows.
The young ones smile politely at her and as the night wears on they say he’s a really good boss, I’m not just saying that and they show her their diamond rings. Their eyes flick from her face to her hands then back to her face again, but she has long since stopped explaining there is no engagement ring.
She no longer explains the pair of earings, molded black and gold and stored in her knickers drawer. Coveted, then bought, from the Melbourne Street Banana Room. It is a shop they wouldn’t know, because, like the holes in her ears, it has long since closed.