"I'm coming, I'm coming!" Mandy yelled. Her mother, who was now just a shadow in the doorway, pursed her lips and frowned as she watched her daughter pull on her tiny size 4 ½ red Nike Luna Racer's.
"Honey, please, hurry up. If you don't get there soon, your aunt will probably have already sucked your Gran into giving her and your insipid cousins a high percentage of her inheritance." Olivier glanced at a perfectly manicured hand.
"Yeah, I know mum, I know. But are you sure Gran is going to kick the bucket soon?" Mandy bit her lip as she tightened her fluoro-pink laces.
Olivier straightened her Louis Vuitton handbag. "I know my mother better than anyone else. I was her favourite. I am her favourite. I was and am the perfect daughter. Look at me now; a beautiful daughter, an adoring husband and a successful cosmetics company", Olivier's eyes clouded over, taking her back to her childhood of trophies and achievements.
Mandy nodded. "And with the majority of Gran's inheritance, we'll be richer."
"Precisely. But that's only possible if you do your job well. Walk to your Gran's house, tell her that you're dropping by for a visit, and then subtly complain that business isn't doing well for your parents. Emphasize that your parents are struggling to pay for your school fees, horses and extra-curricular activities. That should do it; your Gran wants a good education for you, loves Chestnut and Hazel and knows how expensive gymkhana is." Olivier smiled at her cleverness.
"Mmm, but mum, I'm wearing brand-new expensive shoes, won't Gran notice that? I should change them. These ones are fluorescent red with fluorescent pink laces for Pete's sake!" Mandy shot a look at her mum.
Meeting the penetrating eyes of her pampered daughter, Olivier coolly replied, "Well then..."
Grabbing a rough pebble from their ornamental pebble bowl, she repeatedly scraped it against the sides of Mandy's shoes. After a minute or so, the shoes were considerably scuffed.
Olivier expected her daughter to be devastated at the wrecking of her darling shoes, but instead, Mandy stared back at her, then simply shrugged.
"It'll be worth it in the end."