Wedding Day Blues

The doorbell went. Patricia walked so slowly and miserably to get it that it went again before she'd got there. She opened it to see her friend Jemima.

"Are you all righ'?" asked Jemima. Patricia simply shook her head and started to cry. Her friend came in, directed them both to Patricia's bedroom and bade her friend wait for her there while she went to get them both an Empire Cola from Patricia's mum's fridge - there were about twenty in there so it shouldn't be a problem.

They drank their patriotic drinks in silence for a bit while Jemima kept her arm comfortingly around her friend's shoulders.

"Are you still thinkin' about Boris?" asked Jemima.

Patricia simply nodded. That's all she needed to do. It'd been hard for Patricia to see the happy couple, Mr. Portillo and Miss Abbott, looking so in love while she herself was having her heart broken. There wasn't a lot Jemima could say. Boris Johnson, the object of Patricia's affections, had been spotted at the wedding with no fewer than five different women... and he seemed to be getting on remarkably well with each one. Whenever her idol had come near the wall where Patricia had managed to find a spot, he had totally ignored her, whatever she's said, however loudly she'd said it and however polite she had been. That just wasn't nice. Jemima explained that it was time for her to tell her friend the truth: that men just weren't very nice. They drank; they farted; they ran the country; they didn't care about anybody other than themselves; they treated women like second-class subjects.

Patricia just nodded and put her head on Jemima's shoulder.

"I hate seein' you upset like this. You're normally laughin' all the time. Everyone says tha' abou' you. Half the time no-one really knows what you're laughin' at - I don' s'pose you know, really, but you're always laughin'. Come on, let's go for a walk."

Jemima was right. The fresh air made Patricia feel better both mentally and physically.

They walked to the edge of the local wood. During the day you could see into Essex from here but it was too late at night for that. Neither would have come here by themselves but together with each other and with their mobiles they felt safe. They stopped a short way in and sat on the leaves. Jemima brought out a nice surprise: she'd got some British Imperial milk chocolates with her and two cheese and pickle sandwiches. That was kind of her - Patricia knew that that little lot would have cost her friend a few shillings.

All of a sudden they began to feel the ground give way. They tried to get away from the area where the dip was growing at the speediest rate but they couldn't beat it so they clung onto each other for dear life, believing that this earthquake which had overtaken them so suddenly would surely kill them within seconds.

Just as suddenly as it started, it had stopped. The ground raised itself up again and deposited the girls on terra firma once more.

"Are you all righ'?" asked Jemima.

"Oh, yes, I'm fine," giggled Patricia, her old self smashed back into existence by the earthquake.

They walked gingerly around in case there was any broken masonry or the like. No - nothing. Everything looked all right except... well, it's such a minor thing it can't be relevant. Jemima noticed that a signboard had a different advert on it from the one she'd seen on the way in and she hadn't remembered a 'phone box THERE before.... But that must be imagination. Patricia had noticed a few minor things, too - the registration numbers on the cars looked a bit funny. One of them had had a blue flag on the back with a circle of yellow stars - she wondered what that flag was. These were hardly major issues - not worth bringing to the attention of her friend.

They walked on in silence for a bit, noticing small difference after small difference without breathing a word until something happened which made them both realise that something was seriously not right with the world: someone had left a copy of a newspaper called "The Metro" lying around just where the two girls decided to have their sit-down. Jemima, thoughtful girl that she was, put it between the two of them so they were both able to glance at it. The headline referred to someone called Gordon Brown as the Prime Minister. It talked of the Labour Party being in power but of a Tory revival and it kept referring to the Tories as the Conservative Party. Jemima flicked the page over. A football team she had heard of were featured and she didn't recognise half the members in it.

The two girls decided to take a walk again. They were looking out more carefully for differences now. As they looked everything was different from where people had left their cars to the shape of some of the buildings to some of the music they could hear... something was badly wrong.

After a while they decided to pay a visit to the local library. The encyclopedias were all telling the same story as each other and it was very much that of a history parallel to their own. The Fascists lost Italy back in the 1940s; the Communists lost Russia in the 1990s; a man called Tony Blair (Labour Party) had been the Prime Minister of Great Britain for a whole ten years before Gordon Brown had stepped in. It was all very strange and a it spooky. It was their world and yet not their world.

A fat jolly man with bad teeth, a straw hat and a blue-and-white jacket, a yellow tie and a white shirt suddenly appeared from nowhere and started talking loudly to the two girls. What freaked them out was that he knew their names and kept making references to their "home world". They didn't know what that meant but he seemed to know a lot about their business.

"I can get you back to your own world, my dears. All it requires is a little bit of faith by you and off we go,"

It was all certainly a good cure for Wedding Day Blues!

The End

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