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A Short Wheel Base

The woman drinking coffee with her friend at the next table has a stepson who is about to propose to his girlfriend. They're on holiday in Croatia and he's been carrying the ring in his pocket for a month. His father did the same before proposing to the coffee drinker. They've been married five years but been together for ten. How did you meet, asks the coffee drinker's friend. 'Online,' says the coffee drinker, 'but through friends. Not through that other business.'

Coffee drinker tells her friend that she gets on well with the stepson who works as a carpenter 'But he wants to do more, get a proper trade'. The stepson was in Italy on a football scholarship until SHE (his mother) made him give it up and come back to Australia. How old is he, asks coffee drinker's friend. He's 25. His girlfriend is 23.

Isn't that a bit young to marry, asks coffee drinker's friend. Coffee drinker shakes her head, No, they've been together for five years.

What does his mother say about it, asks coffee drinker's friend.

'That C*NT,' says coffee drinker. Her voice is loud, a small explosion of emotion. The woman is lazy and selfish, says coffee drinker. She doesn't work. The stepson has been giving her money but his girlfriend recently told him, 'It has to stop.' Coffee drinker adds, 'She's a wonderful girl.'

A silver Range Rover stops at a pedestrian crossing in front of the cafe. Coffee drinker points to it and says, 'That's what I want Lorenzo to buy,' adding something about a short wheel base.

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