Livy patted her hair, in case a single mahogany strand would have dared swapped places during the poem. She clapped a bit more, looked at us, then back at Sarah-Jane, sipping water, cheekbones on fire. “Thank you so much, hun, for sharing such incredible words with us. What a wonderful piece of art,” she said, and Sarah-Jane inclined her head, making me regret drinking all my prosecco.
“Wasn’t that wonderful, girls,” Livy turned to us, her wide mouth stretched to the point of no return, dark eyes looking at us one by one, including Genevieve. “I’m so thrilled Sarah-Jane could make it today, she’s so busy; not just with work but also her soulful writing,” Livy carried on, not noticing that Genevieve had both her feet on the cream carpeted floor again. Genevieve was holding her champagne glass like a pop star clinging to their microphone, her alternating lilac and aquamarine long fingernails like tiger claws. At least she was consistent with her colour schemes.
“I’m so glad you were all here, as I know we can’t always get together when we’d like to,” Livy carried on, and I wondered if there was a reason why she was talking to us, rather than saying more about the poem. It hadn’t been Sarah-Jane’s very worst poem. We’d come off lightly. “Anyone wants to add something about that incredible piece that Sarah-Jane has just shared with us?” Livy smiled encouragingly, her hands clasped together, begging for trouble.
Genevieve raised herself on lilac tiptoes, “Oh, Sarah-Jane darling, I did enjoy that. It was such a wonderful, soulful piece as Livy said. Of course, it wasn’t a real poem, we all know that,” and she laughed, her head to one side, fingers rattling the long string of pearls. She skilfully blocked out the horrified gasps from the others, without showing she’d heard them. I just rolled my eyes and smothered my giggles in a coughing fit. Genevieve gave a royal wave towards the dumbstruck Sarah-Jane, the sunlight visible through the ends of her fingernails, “So sweet, but of course, no rhyming scheme, and not much rhythm either, both so elemental to any poem.”
Sarah-Jane’s entire face had gone a blotchy scarlet, which clashed with her hair colour scheme, but she was too busy taking deep breaths to answer Genevieve. “My Great Aunt Laetitia was a very accomplished poultry writer,” Genevieve said, tittering again, as the audible mutterings from the others turned into shrieks of laughter, breaking the hostile atmosphere. I sighed and slumped, blinking to smooth out my frown. I had come so close to some excitement. “Oh, haha, poetry I meant of course. Did I really say poultry? Anyway, as I said, I grew up with wonderful words and beautiful songs,” she ended with another majestic hand gesture towards Sarah-Jane.
“But all the writing issues aside,” she continued, lifting one foot up again, “the theme you chose to write about is just adorable, darling.”