Task: write a conversation where there are ….
A. All gender-neutral pronouns. No, He or She
B. No gender obvious names.
C. Setting must be a café
D. And the characters are exchanging gifts.
The streets were swollen with people. Manic delivery drivers parked in the road and ignored the angry horns as they raced against the stream of shoppers and dived in and out of business doorways. I watched relived that my partner Avery, did all our Christmas shopping and I only had to cook the meal for us and our children on the big day. I kept checking my watch, it was unlike Jo to be late. The newspaper before me was becoming less and less interesting. Finally, there was a bustle of activity. I looked up to see Jo was there fighting the narrow door with a pram. I rushed to help.
“Hi, how are you?” asked Jo abandoning the pram to kiss me on the cheek.
“Fine, fine. What happened to you?” I enquired looking at the dishevelled mess of my friend. The person who had nearly always been perfectly presented when we worked together.
“This monster wanted to feed before we could leave the house.” Jo now balanced baby Sammy on a tilted frame with a baby bag swinging in the arched stance.
“Here give me Sam, and go and get yourself a cuppa.” I offered.
“Thank you, Lesley.” Jo put a hand on my arm, smiled and then walk straight past coffee counter, making a beeline for the loos. I laughed and bounced the babbling, bright-eyed Sammy on my knee. Sammy smiled back. clearly unaware of the energy it must have took to make organic carrot purée and get fine oatmeal to the right temperature and still make it into the city centre for 11:20 coffee with an old friend.
I reached for the all-too-familiar soft brown bear out of the baby bag. There I caught a glimpse at what must have been my Christmas present. Wrapped perfectly and jo’s hand written tag saying;
“happy holiday and best wishes Jo and Sam, x.”
“Shit!” I exclaimed having realised my gift for Jo was back in the office. What was I thinking? Jo had managed to get here and wrestle Sam into the loathed car seat. Which, to be fair, we all didn’t understand how to operate. Jo had driven through city traffic to sit and have coffee with me, here so it was close to my office, and had remembered the gift. What excuse did I have? I Had even been sat here waiting, wondering why Joe was late. The irony that I could have run back to the office and been back within 10 minutes wasn’t helping. If only I had realised. Well, I felt right idiot. Sam added by barfing onto my suit jacket from my continued bouncing. Because of the forgotten gift, I didn’t complain. I figured I deserved it.
Joe came back with another coffee for me and a tea. Anticipating the vomit episode from Sam Joe had stolen loo roll.
“I kind of saw it from over there at the counter.” Jo stifled a laugh.
“Saw what?” I asked wonder if my sneaky peek at the present had been spotted.
“Half digestive carrot all down your back, perfectly timed as you bent over for the blasted bear… Well done Sam.” Said Joe turning from me to the little bundle of smiling joy and trying to clean me up all of the same time.
“Made your strike while I was distracted hey? Fair play. But maybe keep the sneakiness to hockey tournaments”
“Hope you can tech Sammy better than you captain, Captain.” Muttered Jo jokingly. “Will you be able to change at the office?”
“Yeah,” I replied hardly caring.
“Sorry Lesley, I’m still getting used to this parenting thing. No matter how hard I try. I’ve never got everything I need. Maybe I should go back to the warehouse logistics.”
“I don’t know about that. Just don’t leave me holding the baby” I laughed trying to wrestle Sam into a clean bib. We were now both laughing as it took us the two of us to get Sam into the highchair.
Would you like to guess the gender of Jo, Lesley and Sam?….
I’ll let you know if your right or if I was able to hide them.