‘I bought it at a car boot sale, for a fiver.’
‘A car boot sale, I don’t believe it. An original Karen Millen for five pounds?’
‘Truly I did. There was some lingerie as well for a pound. This woman had a stall. She told me they were kosher, not off the back of a lorry.’
Both girls eyed the dress with desire. It was short, a little black number most definitely not for funerals.
‘Will she be there next week?‘ asked the lucky girl’s friend hopefully.
‘I don’t think so Nicky, she told me it was the only one she had. She’s got some monogrammed tea towels though, you might get them.’
‘I can just see myself wearing tea towels to a party’, Nicky sneered. ‘That will go down really well.’
‘Well we can go next week and see if she’s got anything else.’
Nicky breathed thankfully, ‘Oh Becky that would be really great. Call for me on Sunday and we’ll still have a week before the party.’
It was agreed. They’d try and find the woman who sold Becky her Karen Millen original. They would both wear their originals, to the office summer party.
On the way home Becky had second thoughts. After all Nicky hadn’t found the dress, and why give Becky an advantage. They both fancied the same man at the office, though Becky hadn’t told her friend how she felt. She pondered the best way to prevent her friend taking over the territory she’d marked down for herself.
Sunday morning came and Nicky waited anxiously at home for her friend to pick her up. They’d agreed 9.00 am and it was now 9.20 what could have happened?
The phone rang, ‘Becky where are you, what’s happened?’
‘I’m sorry the car won’t start I can give you the address if you want.’
’You know I don’t drive.’ Nicky told her.
‘I’m truly sorry Nicky. I’ll make it up to you I promise.’ Then Becky rang off.
After she put the phone down Nicky felt very sore. It would be too late now for any bargains and she’d so wanted a nice dress. Drat Becky why couldn’t she have checked out her car before?
To calm herself down she went out for a cycle ride. Out of town the peace and stillness made her feel better. ‘Oh well there probably wouldn’t have been any bargains anyway.’ She consoled herself.
Around a bend in the road she saw a car parked by the side of the road. A woman paced to and fro along the grass verge. As Nicky approached she could see the woman was speaking urgently into her mobile.
‘No I don’t know how long I’ll be’, she was saying. ‘The car has a flat and I can’t fix it can you come out and do it. What you can’t come till the football is finished.’ Her tone was incredulous. ‘Don’t bother at all – prat!’ Viciously she snapped the mobile shut then walked round the other side of the car to the driver’s seat.
‘Can I help?’
The woman looked at her curiously. ‘Not unless you can change a tyre.’ She said.
‘No problem’, Nicky smiled brightly, ‘just give me a hand moving the tyre when it’s off the ground.’
Half an hour later they were both in the car, hands a little dirty but otherwise fine. The woman offered Nicky a lift to her home after suggesting she fold her bike and put it in the back.
‘Don’t forget to get that puncture fixed as soon as you can.’ Nicky said as they drove off. ‘That tyre’s just a getuhome.’
‘Well you certainly know cars’, the stranger told her. ‘My name is Anita by the way. You’ve saved my life I needed to be home by mid-day.’
‘I’m Nicky. Glad to be of help. Going anywhere special?’
‘I’m a pattern cutter for Karen Millen Designs. I was on my way to discuss a new frock design she plans to sell in her shop at Bluewater.’
‘Oh what a great job, I wanted a Karen Millen but I can’t afford it. I was supposed to go with a friend today to buy one at a car boot fair.’
‘Oh you wouldn’t have got anything good today, I only had tea towels today.’
Nicky gasped, ‘You mean you’re the one who’s selling the boot fair bargains.’
‘Yes we do it to gauge reaction to new lines. Sometimes there are bargains but not today.’
Inwardly Nicky breathed with relief better to have a nice ride in the country than wander round a boot fair with Becky.
Anita was looking at her closely, ‘Hmmn, you’re about the right height and you’ve got a good figure. Why don’t you come with me to the meeting?’
‘Why?’ Nicky asked.
‘Our regular model won’t be there and a model is needed to see how the dresses hang. If you do this, you can have your pick of the frocks that are there. They’ll need finishing off but you can do that yourself. Is it a deal?’
‘Deal’, Nicky said clasping the other woman’s hand.
As she sat back in the car Nicky thought dreamily of Becky’s face when she appeared at the party in the latest Karen Millen.