The Club 11:00

I lean against a pillar for a moment to catch my breath. The crowd is in full swing now and my feet are killing me, yet I don't feel very party-like. Over in the corner I notice the Boss rubbing his temples slightly, so I make my way over to see if he's OK. William F. Randal, 'Billy' as everyone calls him (though not to his face) is one of the old school, a gentleman but tough and well respected. As I near his side, however, I notice the strange expression in his eyes. He looks at me as if trying to remember something. It's as if he sees me and yet he doesn't.

"You all right, Boss?" He shakes himself and comes to attention.

"I'm fine, just a little headache. Maybe I'm getting too old for this." He ignores my sceptical look. "Well, I've done it. They seem to be having a good time don't you think, Talia?"

"With the amount of champagne they're drinking I'd say they are having enough of a good time for the whole century."

He grins at my attempt at humour, but he still looks abstracted

I smile, the first genuine smile of the evening. He is like the Grandfather I never had. Not that he seems old in the ways that matter. Most of the time he has more energy than the rest of us put together. He claims it's all in the attitude. I've got lots of attitude, but I don't think that's what he means.

"Why don't you go up to your office, Boss, and have a breather for five minutes?" Everything is under control.

He agrees and walks slowly off towards his office, that abstracted expression back on his face. I stare after him, frowning. That was too easy, normally he would have stayed to argue a bit. I shrug. Whatever.

Copyright © L J Winson 1997