Lacy giggled as she handed me her key. The skin on her cheeks had lifted, her eyebrows sat a little higher on her face. The little lines at the corners of her eyes were drawn thin. It reminded me of Christmases some thirty years ago: Lacy as a toddler, excitedly tearing wrapping paper into shreds to get at whatever was inside.
But now that it came to it, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it.
“I can’t believe we’re about to do this!” She whispered. I almost expected her to start licking her lips. “It’s going to be so much fun!”
I smiled and held out my key, which she snatched.
Then her eyes narrowed. “You are still happy to do it, aren’t you?”
She was my little sister. We’d always shared everything. How could I possibly disappoint her? “Yes, of course. Like you say, it will be a lot of fun.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“Come on, tell me. Is it Bobby? Has he changed his mind?”
“No.” I shook my head. “No, it’s not that. We both know he fancies you.” I’d caught him staring more than once. “It’s just…” How could I tell her that I had changed my mind?
“What is it?”
She was starting to look unsure, like maybe she wasn’t going to get what she wanted after all. So I lied. “I’m not really comfortable with turning up in your bedroom uninvited.”
“What?” She laughed and placed a hand on my arm. “You’re worried David will be upset? You are gorgeous, Mim. He won’t be able to believe his luck.”
“Lacy, I’m forty-three,” I offered, as if I thought that made any difference.
“I know, it’s not fair. My boobs sag more than yours do.”
That wasn’t true at all, but I still smiled self-consciously at the compliment.
“Now go on, have fun. We’ll compare notes later!”
She turned and headed toward the lift with my key, and I stood staring at hers. I could just go and sit in the bar for a few hours, I told myself. Drink my bank balance dry and then return to my bed when my husband was fast asleep.
Instead, I turned and walked down the corridor to Lacy’s room.