3 Albert Terrace
'The waitress brings the drinks straight away. Mine's mostly hidden under a ton of ice, two orange pips and a lettuce. I prod around with the straw but before I've even taken a sip, a chunk of ice flips out onto the floor. My first thought is, grab a napkin, pick it up, but it's too far away, out of reach. Anyway, the guy I'm with keeps talking, hasn't noticed so I carry on nodding and smiling, trying to stay cool.'
'So you've made it up with Simon?'
'All the while in my peripheral vision, I see this ice cube. I'm wondering, should I say something to a passing waiter, but no waiter passes and quite soon I see the ice melting into a puddle. I can't stop looking. I'm thinking, what if a family comes to the next table and a child slips and breaks a leg. What if a waiter trips, the risotto goes everywhere and he gets the sack. Suppose the tray hits someone with a weak heart and they have to call the emergency services. What if health and safety..'.
'So how is Simon these days?'
Adele can be difficult at times, she doesn't always seem to cotton on.
'Who I was with is not the point,' I say.
'What is the point then?'
'Well, I suppose what I'm trying to say is, who would be responsible. Is it the barman who over-filled the glass, or the waiter who didn't spot the puddle? Was it the mother not watching out for her child, or the man with the weak heart who should be at home in bed anyway.....'
'Is this a quiz?'
Adele has this annoying habit of twisting her hair round her finger. Perhaps she thinks it makes her look younger. Perhaps I find it annoying, because my hair isn't the sort of hair you can twist.
'I'm trying to describe to you how I was faced with a dilemma.'
'But Hanna, it's only hypothetical, so does it matter who's fault it is?'
'Supposing the fault was mine.' There, I'd said it. Out Loud. What had been worrying me for days. I couldn't bring myself to walk past the Blue Banana in case they'd been closed down.
'I think you're taking it too seriously. Food gets dropped in restaurants all the time.'
'Yes, but if I was responsible for the ice falling and did nothing, that makes me responsible for any repercussions doesn't it?'
'But you don't know there were any repercussions, do you? Unless there's something you're not telling me.'
We're both silent for a while.
'Anyway,' she says. ' Did you enjoy the meal?' ..........