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What Best Friends Are For
by Sandra Crook

“Does my bum look big in these?” asked Sue, peering over her shoulder at her image in the fitting room mirror.

Millie paused. Sue’s bum looked enormous; in fact, not just enormous, it had deep indentations where her knickers cut into her ample buttocks, resembling a cottage loaf wobbling on a bed of shiny candy-pink lycra.

“Mmm…..I’ve seen it look bigger” she said helpfully.

Sue glared at her.

“When?” she demanded.

Millie thought for a moment.

“When you were pregnant, I think.”

“Great,” snapped Sue, levering the leggings over her hips and sitting down, flushed with exertion to peel them off her dimpled thighs. Perspiration trickled down her neck, finding its way into her generous cleavage.

The assistant appeared from behind the curtain, clutching a pair of purple track suit bottoms. She gazed doubtfully at the wrinkled pink leggings that had expired on the changing room floor, now at least twice their original size.

“Perhaps Madam would be more comfortable in something a little looser,” she said, nervously.

Sue snatched the offering as the assistant scooped up the exhausted, damp leggings, and, holding them at arms length between her thumb and forefinger hastily made her exit.

The changing room was beginning to reach sauna-like ambience, and the prevailing odour pricked at Millie’s nostrils. She longed to be back out on the high street breathing the fresh, if slightly nippy January air.

Sue slid easily into the baggy jogging trousers and tied the drawstring cruelly into a tight knot round her middle. She turned to survey her image in the mirror and frowned.

“What do you think?” she said, doubtfully.

Millie examined her friend critically, one hand cupped round her chin as if deep in thought.

Standing with her legs apart, arms akimbo, and taking up most of the slack in the joggers, Sue’s lower body looked for all the world like a pair of shiny, plump aubergines. It was eleven o’clock. A skinny latte and a blueberry muffin beckoned in Millie’s mind as she held her breath.

“Well?” barked Sue.

Millie exhaled slowly.

“Smashing. They really make your bum look tiny,” she said. “I’d get those, if I were you.”

Sue’s cross, red face melted into a smile.

“Right. That’s settled. I know I can always rely on you to tell it like it is, Millie.”

Millie turned away, and bit her lip guiltily.