Chapter 9: Libby-Rational

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Libby Miller was standing at her mailbox in her dressing gown, clearing a whole week’s worth of junk mail, flyers and bills. 

She feigned a smile and a cheery wave as her neighbour Brett drove past on his way out of Remarkables Lane, beating an over-enthusiastic tattoo to her on his car horn as he went. 

“That man is such a prat,” she thought, then, realising that standing at your letterbox in your dressing gown and fluffy slippers wasn’t exactly the acme of coolness either, she scuttled back into the house. 

Showered and changed, Libby entered her studio. Today was her first full day off after working for seven days straight at one thing or another and the day expanded before her with promise. 

First up a good stint of painting, before heading into town for a coffee with Meegs. 

Then more painting! This piece had to be finished and Libby wasn’t going to be distracted. 

“You can’t make a living as an artist without paintings to sell,” she said to herself 

Not that she was making a living as an artist. Since coming back from overseas and committing fully to living the dream, she’d spent more time working scummy jobs for minimum wage than she had painting. 

Still, she wasn’t prepared to compromise and go out and get a full-time job. Not yet, anyway. 

A few hours later and Libby was engrossed in her art. Suddenly her cellphone went off and Libby cursed that she had forgotten to turn it off. 

It was her sister-in-law Karen and she was very upset. 

“Libby, I know you’re not rostered on today but could you come down and help out for a couple of hours? Grace has been in an accident…” Karen gabbled at full speed. 

“I’ll be right there!” said Libby, trying not to sound hacked off although it meant the rest of her day was probably stuffed. 

At the cafe, Adele and Josh were grateful for the extra pair of hands. Libby had been pulling two or three casual shifts a week at Tea And Symphony since she came back from overseas and she was grateful to Karen for keeping her on, even during the quiet season, when she wasn’t really needed. To be honest, some weeks the leftover muffins and cakes were the only things she ate. 

The cafe was frantic and the fast pace of getting the food and drinks out to everyone kept her busy. Eventually things died down and finally she was able to make a coffee for herself and join her friend Meegs, who had arrived and was sitting with Carl Lowry at the table where he’d been holding court all afternoon. 

“Lovely Libby, the most fragrant being ever to accidentally slop tea into a saucer… ” he crooned. “Take a seat, you look exhausted. Been out on the tiles? Tell me all about it!” 

“Don’t go fishing for gossip, Carl, “she grinned. “I was out but I wasn’t on the tiles. I was waitressing at a wedding, unfortunately. Paint doesn’t buy itself you know!” 

Meegs chimed in. Carl, you’re supposedly Queenstown’s answer to Perez Hilton with that scurrilous gossip blog of yours,” she countered. “You should be providing us with gossip, not the other way round. Go on, see if you can tell me something I haven’t heard already this week from someone else!” 

“Oh, I love a challenge,” purred Carl. “ Let me see.” He joined his two index fingers together in a triangle shape and tapped them against his lips. 

“Now what was it I heard about that All Black who was down here visiting recently? Oh, what’s his name … you know the cute one?” 

Meegs threw out a name. 

“That’s right, him,” Carl said. “Well, let’s just say that he was a very, very naughty boy while he was down here.”
And seeing that he had their attention, he launched into his tale.

All characters in Remarkables Lane are fictitious and any resemblance to any person alive or dead is purely coincidental…. No seriously, you’re really not that interesting