2. Annette was embarking onone of her grandfathersassignments, and this one shereally wanted to go well.She was to host a socialgathering, and it was to gosmoothly. And she had invitedboth her groups of friends,from the Club and the Street.
3. The Barrow twins didn’tseem sure about Meganbut were being politelyaloof. Megan thoughtthey were snobs, andMalika was feelingpretty intimidated.
4. While Annette tried to get the Barrowtwins and Megan talking, Malika andGerald found themselves chatting. Heseemed less unapproachable than theAdam and Alicia, friendly even.
5. But they found theatmosphere aroundthem was making theirown conversationstrained. It was a bitawkward, and both ofthem wished they hadmet elsewhere.
6. Annette was struggling.She could only seem toget either Megan or thetwins smiling at any onetime.If Megan found somethingfunny, Alicia would turnaway affecting boredom. Ifthey discussed somethingequine, Megan wouldglower.
7. Her gathering was a disaster. After a little while, no one was talking to anyone else. Itwasn’t just her grandfather who would be saddened by this failure. Annette felt torntoo. She had really wanted all her friends to get along.
8. She hid in her room for abit when they all left,nursing herdisappointment. But shegot up and poured out allher woes to Peps. Herhorse might notunderstand what was beingsaid, but Annette felt betterhaving said it all out loud.
9. Spotting her daughters mood,Ariette tried comforting her atbreakfast. No matter what she wasgoing through, Vickers werewinners. Harry might have lostthem almost everything, but you’dnever have guessed from meetinghim.Things would look better after a fewdays.
10. Flats – Potter and McKirrick Jennifer Potter Jennifer Potter moved into the Street with her ex- husband Pablo Martinez, whose last name she has since dropped. They had planned to start a family in the suburbs, but found getting pregnant difficult. Jen had given up a promising political career to be a mother, so found this failure harder to bear than Pablo.He didn’t in fact want children, and had a string of affairs to escaperesponsibilities at home. Jen forgave him the first time she found out, after beingtold by the Baileys. The second time however, enough was enough.Since their split, Jen has found herself in financial difficulties. She moved into thesmall, oddly shaped house that was the last built in Deasil Street, which she rents.It’s conversion into flats is a source of concern to her.She hopes to get her career back on track now her dreams of having children arebeginning to fade.She is on good terms with everyone on the Street, and is particularly close toTeresa whom she turns to in times of crisis.
11. Flats – Potter and McKirrick Angus McKirrick is the most recent occupant of Deasil Street, having just moved into the surprise upper flat above Jen Potter. He moved to Deasil Street following a split with a long term girlfriend, who had had enough with his semi-nomadic lifestyle. Angus rarely lives in a town longer than a year, getting bored quickly.A writer for hire, he usually works for local newspapers on opinion pieces,sometimes reporting on smallish events.What he really likes to do is write screenplays. His proudest moment waswhen he favourite sci-fi show used his work for one episode. It didn’t getparticularly impressive ratings though, and has yet to be repeated.Angus is very relaxed about everything, including clutter and hygiene. Howwell he fits into Deasil Street has yet to be seen.
12. Angus hadn’t left his flat for a few days. To the casual observer like Jen, it would see hewas pretty lazy. All she could hear was sports from his TV, and the only movement onthe stairs was take-away deliveries. But to be fair, he had moved in just before hisrugby team were due to play in the finals.
13. In actual fact, he wasn’t just a waste of space. Aprofessional writer, he always has several projectson the go. Right now, he was penning a review ofthe invasive forms of advertising during televisedsports fixtures. But his real love was sciencefiction, and was always sending off screenplays tohis favourite shows. It wasn’t just work, it was avocation.
14. With his article finished, he decided it wasprobably time to go and meet his neighbour. Hewondered about sprucing himself up a bit, butgiven their proximity she would see him a bitdishevelled more often than not. Why worry?
15. Jen let him in, and they satdown to have a chat. But itwas clear they didn’t havemuch in common. Jenwasn’t impressed by hisdirty jeans or scruffy beard.He was a bit put off by herattitude, especially as shewas no better than him.She was living in this cheapbuilding too.
16. Jen let him out with a heavyheart. It seemed her suspicionswere correct, she was sharing abuilding with a person whowasn’t quite up to her standards.She wasn’t being a snob, she wasno Ariette. But her reducedcircumstances since the divorceseemed to be bringing her intocontact with people she wasn’tcomfortable with.