A short story I wrote a while ago.
Natasha took a glance outside the window at her three children playing in the backyard. For once they looked like they were behaving themselves and not trying to kill each other. Natasha had been waiting all afternoon for the sounds of screaming and the cries of hurt children, but that noise had not yet come.
Relaxed, Natasha turned away from the window and sat down. She picked up a celebrity gossip magazine. The cover was splashed with the name Mishelle Beckfield, wife of the famous footballer, Wayne Beckfield.
Natasha adored Mishelle Beckfield. Like herself, Mishelle had grown up on a council estate in Bedfordshire. Mishelle had got lucky and dated a guy who turned out to be a brilliant footballer. She had got to enjoy that glorious WAG lifestyle, travelling the world, meeting film stars and living in massive houses. Natasha always loved to see what Mishelle was wearing and she scoured the shops for cheap immitations of her outfits.
Natasha loved Stan her husband, but she rather wished she had married a footballer and not a gardener like him. Stan was an alright bloke, but he enjoyed watching football, not playing it. He was not drop dead gorgeous or stylish like Wayne Beckfield was either.
She tried to imagine what it must be like, living in a villa in the south of France and not a tiny council house. Mishelle didn't have to spend all day shouting at her kids; she had a nanny to look after them.
Slipping out of her reverie, Natasha opened up the magazine and flicked to the feature on the famous WAG. The feature had a collection of photographs of a party on Mishelle's gigantic luxury yacht. Natasha noticed that all of the guests were barefoot. The text informed her that shoes were not allowed on board to protect the precious teak decks.
Thinking of wooden decks, Natasha glanced down at the new wooden floor that the council had installed a month ago. She had been delighted when the new floor had been put in, as the old carpets had been filthy and worn. She did notice that even this new floor had gotten a bit scratched. There was a particularly nasty looking dent that her friend Vicky had made the other day when she came in wearing killer heels. Natasha always liked to giggle at the way her friend tottered around so clumsily in them. Mishelle knew how to walk properly in heels.
Looking at the scratches on the floor, Natasha supposed that the shoe-ban on Mishelle's yacht made a lot of sense.
Although the house was small, Natasha loved it. It was modern and a huge improvement on some of the places she had lived before. She had seen an awful lot of squalor when she had been younger. The council flat she had lived in when she had her first baby had been particularly grotty.
She was living in a nice place. It might not be a villa in the south of France, but it was good. Why shouldn't she keep it that way? She had a family, why shouldn't they live in a nice environment?
Natasha slipped off her flip flops and hastily carried them to the front door. She also picked up a pair of trainers that Stan had discarded next to his favorite armchair. She placed those next to her flip flops.
Natasha heard the sound of blokes laughing and the door opening. Stan and his fat friend, Dave, had come back from the pub.
" Hi luv! We've come back to watch the Grand Prix," said Stan. "There's some crap film on at the pub. I brought Dave along too. Is there any beer in the fridge?"
Natasha had put a couple of cans of Stella in the fridge, but first things first.
She took a deep breath and made a stern face.
"Right guys, take your trainers off and leave 'em next to the door, please. We're going to have a new rule in here. Shoes off when you come in," said Natasha.
Stan's jaw dropped.
"What for?" spluttered Stan.
"This new floor the council put in; it's getting messed up already. It's time to start looking after it," explained Natasha.
"I have to take my shoes off every time I come in?" asked Stan.
"I spend ages cleaning this place, Stan. It's the least you can do," replied Natasha.
Dave did not seem to happy about the new rule.
"Do I have to take mine off?" Dave asked.
"Yes. You're shoes are probably as dirty as Stan's. All my friends are going to have to take their shoes off too," said Natasha.
"I dunno, luv..." mumbled Stan.
"Are you two worried about getting cold feet? Right bunch of girls the pair of you!" exclaimed Natasha.
Alright, alright, babe! I'll take my shoes off," said Stan as he fumbled with his trainers. Dave followed suit.
"Very good. When you're done you'll find some Stella in the fridge."
"Yes!" they both said gleefully.
Turning from the two men, Natasha heard her children coming in from the backdoor. With the blokes on board, now was the time to explain the new rule to the kids...