Emma and I by Felicity Fox

I was on the lookout. Camped out actually. I somehow knew she’d have to break from the crowd. ‘Toilet, everyone needs the loo, some more than others.’  I’ll probably miss her if I go. No, I’ll wait. Glued to her phone like a safe distraction, out she came. Graceful and beyond beautiful. I, ready to pounce. I’m a polite stalker, so I waited till she’d finished conversing. ‘Emma’, ‘Emma’ excuse me? And she turned, peering down at me. Not the day for wearing flats, but I take my role seriously and I was paying homage to Howard’s End, donning my tie and slacks.

‘Ah, Emma, Howard’s End, Oscars, dresses, Kenneth, Emma, and Nanny McPhee’ knowing so much about her and her, knowing so little about me. So I did what most, I think, in my situation would do, and I shrieked, ‘Nanny McPhee! My kids love you’, and before I could stop myself, I was off. They’re called P and R and they’ve told me to be good or you’d get your magic stick. Not very imaginative. Looking like she’d heard this tale many a time, Her Majesty let me go on.

4 and 6, the loves of my life, blah blah blah. What I should have said is, when mine are doing my head in, I stick on Nanny McPhee or any U-rated film, you know! And I can’t remember any of your recent stuff because I’ve not been to the cinema in donkeys, oh, that’s Scottish for ages. But no, I was being quintessentially polite in my best spoken. ‘Can I get a picture?’ Clicking away, they’re going to love the fact that I met you. “That is nice.” Starring took over; she’s just very consuming. Her imperial accent takes on an authority, her stature and our chance meeting, due to my stalking. I just wanted to enjoy this very rare moment. But if she thought, I’d finished I started again. My boys, my boys, my boys….And to think, I could have asked her so much if I could just stop myself from talking. The possibilities. My, me, mine, and it was time to let her go. “You must find something for yourself because one day they will leave you.” Sorry? ”They will grow up and leave you”, piercing my heart. What? “When they grow up, you’ll need to have something for yourself.” ‘Oh, I know! I laughed, choked, feeling wounded.  She’s wrong, of course. I’ve plenty and it includes, amongst other things, a mortgage, a credit card, a student loan, stories to write, council tax, insurance, 9-5, football, washing…

Emma Thompson


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