A writing exercise around changing points of view within a scene.

Marian looked around proudly. Her future daughter-in-law had done a wonderful job as always. The private function room at one of London’s top hotels was comfortably full of people chatting, laughing and enjoying the wonderful catering. It was a perfect engagement party.

She turned to her son. “Michael darling, when is Tanja arriving? We really can’t open the champagne before then, and I’m simply dying to give her my gift.”

Michael smiled and patted her hand. “She had an emergency thing come up at work. She’ll be here soon.”

Andrew watched from across the room as Michael spoke to his mother and patted her hand in that irritatingly condescending way of his. What the hell had been going through Tanja’s head when she’d said ‘yes’?

Sara looped an arm through his and leaned in. “Do you think she’ll show?”

Andrew snorted. “Not a hope in Hades. Wanna start a betting pool on how long he can hold off admitting it?”

Sara grinned. “Good idea. I’m on it.”

She headed off to their nearest group of friends and began to chat.

The loud ‘WHAT?!’ echoed across the room, making Marian jump. She sidled over to her husband.

“Is it just my imagination, or is there something happening?”

He opened his mouth to scoff, but paused. She knew she was right. Half the group, mostly people she didn’t know, had moved to one side of the room and were sharing urgent whispers in small groups.

They were also checking the time constantly. Tanja really was awfully late.

She looked at Michael, who was flicking glances between his watch and the door. “It’s been over an hour, darling.”

He grimaced. “Fine.”

Michael stepped into a bit of open space in the middle of the room. Andrew nudged Sarah. “Here we go.”

She turned to see what he was talking about and mirrored his nasty grin.

“Thank you all for coming tonight to celebrate my and Tanja’s future together. I’m afraid she’s been unavoidably detained by a serious work issue, but has asked me to make sure you all have a great evening and party as if she was here.”

Oh no, the lying sack of shit wasn’t getting away with this one. Andrew took a small step forward and felt Tanja’s friends gather beside him.

“This unavoidable emergency wouldn’t have anything to do with Tanja walking in on you shagging your slag of a team assistant this afternoon, would it?”

Oh God, he hadn’t. Marian looked at Michael’s face. He had.

She clutched the little box holding her gift and felt her knees start to shake. A hand under her elbow guided her to a chair, and she sat, head whirling as she tried not to be sick.

Whoever it was who rescued her hovered, patting her on the shoulder, trying to be comforting. All she could hear were the snippets and murmurs from the family around her.

“Seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“Poor Marian, first her husband, now her son.”

“The daughter she’d always wanted.”

“At least SHE’s had the good sense not to put up with it.”

Her helper crouched down beside her. It was the young man who dropped the bombshell.

“Tanja loves you to bits, you know. Calls you the mother she never realised she was missing. Don’t let your son stop you from being friends.”

Andrew stood as Michael’s mother sat up straight and took a deep breath. “You know what? I won’t. And what’s more, I’m going to be a mother a daughter like her can be proud of.”

She turned to her husband. “I want a divorce.”

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