Lola had made spag bol in the way her mother always had. It was thick and creamy and quite delicious.
When Jamie saw what Lola had produced he was furious. ‘That’s not the way,’ he told her. ‘Jesus, it’s an Italian dish, not a supermarket ready-meal. Where’s the pancetta? Where’s the carrot? Where’s the bloody celery?’ he shouted.
Lola looked at him in alarm. She’d never seen him like this. He was standing too close to her, his fists bunched as though he might hit her. ‘What d’you mean?’ she said uncertainly.
Jamie breathed in deeply. He had gone over the top, again. But Christ, spaghetti Bolognese was spaghetti Bolognese, not some pansyish concoction slapped together by lazy idiots who didn’t know the first thing about cooking. He pointed to his plate. ‘That,’ he told her loudly, ‘is not spaghetti Bolognese. It is shit. Throw it in the bin.’ He glared at her.
Lola moved around the table as though to take up her plate, but what she wanted was to get the table between them. ‘This,’ she said adamantly, ‘is the spag bol my Mum has been serving up for thirty years or more. It’s great. All the family love it.’
She could see that Jamie was taken aback by her sudden rally. He wasn’t used to women standing up to him. Certainly, it was the first time she had done so, but on the other hand she had never before seen him fly into a rage like that. And all over a plate of food!
She had discovered the darker side of Jamie just in time, then!
The truth was that she had hoped that this was going to be her big night with Jamie. A nice, home-cooked meal, a bottle of decent wine (Jamie had provided it, and she felt sure it was going to be a cracker… he fancied himself as a wine buff) and then, with luck, a bit of a snog and off to bed. She had been planning it all week. Bugger, she said to herself. Still, she wasn’t going to be treated like that. ‘So,’ she said, ‘take your wine and piss off.’
Jamie’s jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe it. ‘Here, don’t be so damned silly,’ he said.
Lola picked up her plate and advanced towards him around the table. ‘If you’re not out of here in one minute you’ll get this in your face.’ She nodded towards the plate in her hand. He could see she meant it.
He wasn’t one to backdown, though. He didn’t think she’d really throw it. He struck an arrogant pose and a sneer appeared on his face. ‘Go on, then.’
Lola didn’t hesitate, but flung the plate full at his face. Her aim was perfect. The plate fell to his feet with a clatter, the Bolognese sauce and spaghetti smothered him, slowly slithering down over his shirt-front.
There was moment’s silence, Jamie seemingly frozen to the spot. ‘Now get out,’ Lola told him. ‘I never want to see you again.’
Leezah looked at the black eye with horror written all over her face. Lola smiled lopsidedly.
‘You should see the other guy,’ she said.
Leezah had her hand up to her mouth. ‘Who was it?’
‘That Jamie,’ Lola told her.
‘Hang on, didn’t you say you only met him a few weeks ago?’
‘That’s right. Didn’t work out.’
Leezah sipped her coffee. ‘I can see that. So what happened?’
‘Well, it was supposed to be spaggers at home, a quick snog over a bottle of wine and then toot sweet to bed.’
‘Yeah? Go on. A bit quick, wouldn’t you say?’
Lola nodded ruefully. ‘Mmmm,’ she said. ‘Mind you, he was smashing. To look at, I mean.’
‘I know,’ Leezah agreed. She had only seen Jamie once when she had bumped into Lola and Jamie in the mall after work on Thursday, and he was certainly a piece of eye candy, she thought. Lola could always pull the good lookers. ‘So he hit you, did he?’
Lola lowered her head. ‘Yeah. Never been hit by a bloke before.’ She raised her head and smiled. ‘Mind you, I smashed his face in with a plate of spag bol first, so I suppose he had a bit of an excuse.’
‘Whatever did you do that for?’
So Lola told her all about it.
‘Did you go to the police?’
‘Should have, I suppose. But no, it was me that started it. The punch-up part of it, anyway. Still, despite his looks it turned out that he’s a nasty piece of work. Found out just in time, I reckon.’
Leezah nodded, but Lola could see that funny look of hers, and wondered how soon Leezah would be trying her pasta on Jamie