Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (31) Like a Thief in the Night (Part 04)
She woke up on Sunday feeling less confident than the night before and the doubts about her worthiness to be happy had returned.
What hadn’t left her though was her anger at her mum so she avoided speaking with her and left.
She wandered off in the direction of the pier and the amusements, not to play them but to check for any coins left in the trays or on the floor and she made enough in an hour to buy herself a burger, fries and a large coke.
On Monday she didn’t have anywhere to go or anything in particular to do so she just walked around aimlessly for a while, but then she was used to that.
Wendy crossed the footbridge over the railway and then turned left and ended sitting on the banks of a little stream dangling her naked feet in the water.
She had been there for about ten minutes when she was startled by a voice behind her.
“Hello you” he said startling her
“You made me jump” she said and giggled.
“What are you up to?” he asked
“Nothing as usual” she replied glumly.
“Just as well I’ve found some work for you”
“Really?” She said excitedly
“You’re not just winding me up,” she asked as she was used to being let down.
“No I’m serious” David said
She felt the tears welling up so she turned away from him so he wouldn’t see.
“Well come on then” he said “Get your shoes on, they’re waiting for you”
“What, now?” She said wiping her face on her sleeve and nearly falling in the stream then she threw her long arms around him in a big gawky hug.
“Thanks David” she said and then she sat down again and he handed her a hankie which she gave a double take at, not knowing whether to dry her eyes or her feet, so she did both in the end, eyes first.
As they walked back into the village he filled her in with what odd bits of work he had found for her so far.
“The gardener Alison Williams said she will give you a trial and Miss Quinton-Smith says she has some odd jobs for you”
“But for this morning Sabr Hemmings has said she can use you in the shop”
“All of them want to give me work?” she asked in surprise
“Yes” he said
“Thank you so much” she said
“All I did was ask” he said “But the rest is up to you”
“I won’t let you down David, I promise” she said and when they arrived outside the shop David added
“It’s only temporary while Mrs. Hemmings is ill but if you work hard, I’m sure they’ll use you again”
And on hearing those words she stood up straight and gave him a wonky smile.
“What if she doesn’t like me?” She said nervously and he wiped the last remnants of her tears away and took her into the shop.
“Sabr! This is Wendy” he said
Since her mother’s Belinda’s illness, Hemmings General Store was run by Sabr.
Sabr was an Arabic word for the Islamic virtue of “patience”, although neither Belinda or her husband were Arabs or Islamists, she read it in a book when she was expecting her daughter and fell in love with the name.
“Hello Wendy” Sabr said
“Hi” she replied trembling
“Don’t look so worried” Sabr said “I won’t bite”
It wasn’t complicated work on that first day, filling shelves mainly but at the end of her shift Sabr said
“You did well Wendy”
“Thanks” Wendy said “I enjoyed it”
“Good, same time Thursday then”