“So, your new friend,” prompted Koblek’s wife encouragingly.
“He’s the uncle of a couple of kids in Slivena’s year,” Koblek was telling the absolute truth at this point, which would make it easier to slip the lies in later, “and we got talking at the school gate. We’ve had coffee a few times and now he’s invited us to a barbecue at his place on Sunday.”
“That sounds nice,” Sophoa Brankovar nodded appreciatively. “Would we be the only guests?”
“No, his sisters and their families are coming so there’ll be those two kids from Slivena’s year plus a few others.” He smiled at her warmly over his coffee.
“I think we should go,” Sophoa said firmly. “Our social life should be more than just my family.”
“I’ll give Droukha a call and let him know we’re coming.” He pulled out his phone and made a call before putting the phone up to his ear. “Hi, Droukha? It’s Koblek here. Look, I’ve spoken to my wife and we’d love to come on Saturday. What time should we be there? Five? Great! What should we bring? Salad our kids will eat, we can do that. We’ll see you then. Yes, I’ve got the address from when you asked me. Bye!” He ended the call.
“Salad our kids will eat? Sounds like he’s been around children a bit, doesn’t it?” Sophoa smiled and then the land line beside her rang. “I’ll get this.” She picked it up and her expression changed to distaste. “Galena! No, we can’t look after your kids Saturday night, we’re going out ourselves. No, we can’t cancel. Well, you should have thought of that when you bought the tickets and not left it to the last minute to find a babysitter, shouldn’t you?” She held the phone away from her ear, then when the person on the other end stopped speaking brought the phone back to her ear and replied, “And that’s supposed to change my mind? Galena, if the local teens won’t babysit for you then maybe other people aren’t the problem – you should look at that. Bye!” She hung up the phone deliberately and without slamming. “I love your friend Droukha, sight unseen.”