Jonathon was trying to pick up the threads of his life again. He supposed, in a vague
kind of a way, that he had got used to his Dad not being around, and even though
he hadn’t seen that much of him before, he was aware of a different feeling. Perhaps
he had not quite come to terms with the fact that he wouldn’t ever be around, not
ever. It was nearly a fortnight since his funeral ,and the passing days didn’t seem
to have made any difference, but he was glad that it was all over. At first his mother
had seemed to be on edge all the time; ready to loose her temper at the slightest
little thing, both with him and his sister. It still puzzled him that his mother
had been so upset, when he was fairly sure she didn’t like him any more than he did..
She had taken a few days off from work, and her older sister, Aunty Rita, had come
to stay. She had been a lot of fun in spite of the situation, and Jonathon was sure,
that even with all the tension, his mother had been cheered her up a lot by her.
The funeral had been a very quiet affair, only a hand full of people apart from
the family. A few neighbours, and a small group from the firm where his Dad had worked.
There was one other lady who, as far as Jonathon could make out, didn’t seem
to be with either group. She seemed to be on her own, probably, Jonathon guessed,
about thirty, though he was not all that good with ages, and it looked as though
she was crying all the time.
Jonathon didn’t know her and when he asked his mother who she was she gave him
an odd look, and then, after a pause she said, “No idea; never seen her before.”
She had said it in a funny, rather curt way that puzzled Jonathon, but gradually
it slipped from his memory.
He was glad after a few days to get back to school. Although he wasn’t especially
gifted, he was bright enough, and mostly enjoyed the school environment. He liked
the sporting side of it too; getting out on the sports field with his mates to have
a good knock- about with the football . Other sports attracted him as well, and as
he was athletic, tall and fairly well built for his age, he was a pretty good all
rounder. That he didn’t seem to excel at any of them except football was more to
do with motivation than skill. Football he really enjoyed, and he had discovered
that he had the edge on the others when it came to speed. He could usually out-run
his opponent, and in a fifty fifty situation, he would invariably be the one who
got the ball.
There was another reason why he was pleased to get back to school. He hadn’t
seen much of Claire in the last two weeks. Naturally he didn’t want her to lose interest
in him, so he was very glad to see her on the sidelines when, on his first day back,
his house was playing a visiting team. He wasn’t too pleased however to see that
she was standing next to ‘Plummy’. Not only standing next to him, but talking to
It had been a good game with the home team victorious by the only goal. Jonathon
hoped that after the shower’s, Claire would still be there, and was pleased when
he caught sight of her, but less so, when he saw that she was still with ‘Plummy’.
To his surprise however, it was ‘Plummy’ who greeted him first with an enthusiastic
pat on the back.
“Well played,” he said, “I thought you were going put in at least two more;
and that shot just before half time was a corker - missed by a whisker.”
He talked for a few minutes more, then he said “Must be off now, there’s a staff
meeting in ten minutes, and it will be my neck if I miss it.” He paused only to button
up his coat against the winter wind, “See you both soon.” he waved, and then he was
Jonathon turned to Claire, who had not yet spoken, “It seems ages since I’ve
seen you, glad you were here to watch me play.”
“Oh don’t flatter yourself,” she said laughing “who said I came to watch you?”
He grabbed her around the middle and spun her round, until she was crying out
for (mock) mercy. It took just that few minutes of tom-foolery, and body contact,
to re-kindle the relationship that had been on hold for nearly two weeks. Now they
were talking and flirting as if nothing had happened.
“What was ‘Plummy’ talking to you about?” Jonathon asked. His curiosity slightly
spiked because, since he didn’t like him, he thought that she shouldn’t either.
“Well," she answered “if you must know we were talking about you.”
This was unexpected to say the least, and he was cautious. “What about?” he
said, curious, but trying not to let it show.
“He thinks you could be a good athlete,” she answered, “thinks that you can do
much better than football but he is worried that you are not getting any kind of
This was a completely new area of thinking for Jonathon, but not one that was
“He said he wants to talk to you when you have got over your shock,” said Claire,
the first reference she had made to the loss of his father.
“Well he’ll have to come looking for me,” Jonathon said, allowing the truculent
side of his character to come to the fore, “I’m not going to him.”
After a while they started to make their way back toward their homes, Claire
took his hand. “I have missed you,” She said, turning her face slightly more towards
him, “and I was very sad for you when I heard that your dad had died.”.
“It was a shock, but I am over it now.” he said, and then in a somewhat surprised
tone, as though he had only just realized what Claire had said, he asked. “Have you
really missed me?”.
“Yes silly.”, and she raised herself onto her toes to give him a peck on the
“Well I have thought about you a lot too.” said Jonathon, putting his arm round
her waist and giving her a gentle squeeze.
Their touching of each other was still slightly uncertain, but with a feeling
of growing confidence, and also a gradually receding fear of rejection, they were
slightly less inhibited, wanting somehow to make up for the lost two weeks. When
they reached Claire’s street Jonathon stopped, expecting Claire to leave him there,
but she kept on walking towards her house.
Sensing him holding back Claire said “It’s all right, you can walk me to the
door,” she smiled “I’ve told my mum about you.” But, as if to tease, just before
they reached it, she ran off and into her house.
Jonathon was not quite sure about this new development. He liked Claire a lot,
but they were still only fourteen, even though they were both soon to have birthdays.
His fifteenth was only a few weeks away, and hers was only a couple of months later.
But being ‘known’ to Claire’s mum was something that he had not reckoned with, and
he was more than usually thoughtful as he walked the half mile from her house to
“Hi mum,” he said, “you’re home early.” He said as he entered the house. He
had not been expecting her to be home yet.
“Yes,” she answered, “ I took the afternoon of work so that I could clear up
a few odds and ends after your dad. Then I went to meet Emma from school, so we could
go to the shop for her new school uniform.”
Jonathon sat down, not particularly interested in this domestic activity. “What
have you been doing with yourself,” Margaret asked, “I thought you would have been
home an hour ago.”
“Sorry Mum,” he said, surprised at being questioned, “I didn’t know you would
be home early; I’ve been playing football.”
Margaret looked at the clock. “It’s nearly six, and it was almost dark at four,
you can’t have been playing football in the dark.” She was getting things together
for the evening meal while they were talking, and although she spoke in a light-hearted
way, Jonathon was feeling slightly uncomfortable.
“Well.” he started, uncertain what to say.
“Well,” said Margaret, cutting him off in a slightly mocking way, but smiling;
“perhaps you were taking your girlfriend home.”
Jonathon slumped, in a matter of just an hour his secret was out on both sides,
and he felt very uneasy. He felt that he was not in control, and again didn’t know
what to say.
“Don’t worry.” said Margaret, seeing how uncomfortable he looked. “Emma told
me, and I don’t mind; and I would like to meet her why you feel you can.”
She came to him and tussled his hair a little, aware of a maternal feeling which
had been suppressed for too long. Also she felt a sense of envy for her son, and
of pride. He was growing up fast and has all of his life before him.
“It’s all right you know to have a girl friend; what do they call her?” she
“Claire.” Jonathon said meekly.
“Claire;” Margaret repeated, “that’s a lovely name, and don’t forget to bring
her to meet me before too long.”
“Now!” she said, the sentence incomplete but with a briskness that indicated
that the inquisition was over, “We must get on with tea, there’s a man coming to
see me at half past seven.”
Jonathon looked up, relieved to know that the questioning was over, and that
his mother approved of his new found interest in girls. More to the point however
was this unexpected visitor.
“Who’s coming to see you mum?” Jonathon asked, as he followed her around the
“Your dad had some insurance policies and when I went to the office the man
I needed to see was not in so it was arranged that he would come to see me - this
She seemed to tumble the words out all together, as if she was in a hurry to
say it. Jonathon somehow sensed some anxiety in his mother, and asked her if she
wanted him to stay back.
“No, I’ll be all right,” she said, “and anyway, Emma will be here.”
In truth Margaret was a little anxious about the evening; not having met this
man and knowing nothing about him. She had not been alone with a man other than her
husband since she had been married, and for so many years he hadn’t treated her as
though she was worth being alone with, so she was very unsure of herself. She reminded
herself however, that this is business, and that he would not be thinking of anything
“And either am I.” she said out loud, before adding, as though she were in conversation
with herself, “Anyway he will probably be married with lots of kids.”
Of course she was not at all interested in this man, or any other man for that
matter. It was just that she had been ‘locked up’ for so long, and now that she had
found the door unexpectedly open, she was uncertain; even a little afraid. Jonathon
took little notice of his mother talking to herself, but did find the last two apparently
unconnected remarks very puzzling. Nevertheless, he did not offer himself as a guard
again, in case she had changed her mind. 'She might say yes' he reasoned, and let
They all sat down at the table, Emma telling Jonathon about the shops they had
been to, while he was trying to watch the television, and Margaret was talking about
insurance policies, and hoping that she had found all the books.
Jonathon wasted no time on his meal, and was soon ready for going out. As he
was heading for the door, his mother called him back.
“It’s the middle of winter.” she said, “It's freezing out there, and you think
that you are going out with no coat on.”
“Oh’ come on Mum, it’s not ‘cool’ to wear a coat and I’ll be the only one.”
“Then they’re all as daft as you.” Margaret countered, “Put that new anorak
on, it seems quite trendy to me, and I’m sure that when your pals are shivering and
you are not, they’ll now who’s ‘cool’.”
Jonathon reluctantly agreed, then left the house as quickly as he could, in
case some other consideration came up. Actually he was not too unhappy to have lost
the anorak argument, because it was very cold, and anyway he conceded, it was pretty
trendy. Maybe even ‘cool’.
It was nearly seven thirty, Emma was in her favourite position, sat on the floor
in front of the T.V. watching a ‘pop’ music programme, and the insurance man was
“Do me a little favour please.” Margaret asked Emma. “When the insurance man
comes will you go and watch the television in your bedroom, so we won’t be distracted
by the noise,” she looked at her daughter, who's only response was a nod, “but will
you leave your bedroom door open, in case I need to call you; and don't have the
tele' on too loud mind.”
A few minutes after seven thirty there was a knock on the door, and Margaret
was quick to open it to her visitor. “Please come in.” she said stepping back to
allow this tallish, slightly portly, but very distinguished gentlemen, to do so.
“Mr Bellamy is it?”
“Thank you Mrs. Marshall,” replied her visitor, “but please will you call me
Margaret was not sure about such informality so soon, but he seemed to be very
nice, and he had a lovely voice. “Would you go into the front room please; John?”,
she said, thereby losing the first round.
“Thank you.” he said as he walked through, with her following him.
“Please sit down,” she gestured to an armchair, “would you like a cup of tea
before we start?”
“Do you know?” he said, “I’ just nipped back to the office, and I haven’t had
a drink since lunch time, I’d love a cup of tea.”
Margaret had prepared some things earlier, so it wasn’t long before she was
back with the tray, and guessing he would be hungry, she had picked up some cakes
“Oh that’s wonderful Mrs. Marshall,” John said, “you are saving my life with
“Take what you want,” said Margaret, “there’s plenty more.” and as she looked
after her visitor she could feel a little tingle, the sensation of pleasure.
John proved to be a charming and helpful visitor, full of fun, and just a little
bit cheeky. Margaret was not up to responding in kind, but she felt a sense of ‘herself’
she hadn’t felt for years. For the first time since her early years of marriage she
not only felt like a woman, but unaccustomedly, a desirable one too. A feeling she
had quite forgotten.
All the outstanding problems relating to their joint policies, and some that
were solely in Bill’s name were resolved, and by the time John was ready to leave,
had he tried, Margaret might possibly have succumbed to his advances. He did not
try however; but simply wished her goodnight; kissed the back of her hand; expressed
the hope that they would meet again; thanked her for the refreshments that she had
provided; and then left. Ironically, he probably never knew, any more that she at
the time, how much good he had done for Mrs Marshall, or how much he had increased
her sense of self esteem.
It had been another long day, and Edward was very tired when he finally got home.
He was no longer overwhelmed by the empty flat, or the fact that John would not be
joining him later. Indeed, now that he was accustomed to being on his own, he had
discovered that he liked it that way. No doubt that would change if he met someone;
someone special; but it was too soon for that. He hadn’t even thought of anyone to
replace John, and doubted if anyone could.
He began the routine of preparing a meal, and doing some washing, before he
started on the task of cleaning the flat. After a while he felt unaccountably tired
and sat down on the settee for a few minutes. Laying his head back he quickly dropped
into a deep sleep.
Was that the telephone? Edward stirred, certain he could hear the telephone,
but somehow could not concentrate his mind. Though he tried he could not rouse himself
and the ringing continued until gradually he started to be aware his surroundings.
Then he knew that it wasn’t the telephone, so it must be the front door. Who on earth
would be at the front door in the middle of the night ?. Edward thought he must be
dreaming. The ringing continued, but now it seemed to be further away. He sat up,
awake and uneasy. It was dark, and only then did he realize that it was the alarm
clock in the bedroom that he could hear. He stood up, slightly disorientated, and
it dawned on him that he had slept through the night on the settee. The alarm clock
was announcing the start of a new day. The makings of 'yesterday evenings' meal
were still as he left them, and his plans for a mini spring clean had gone out of
the window. He made his way to the bathroom, and after completing necessary ablutions,
he was beginning to feel more like himself. He had some breakfast, and soon it was
time to set off on that long walk to the bus stop.
“At least today it isn’t raining.” he thought, as he set off with his collar
up as high as it go, and his hat pulled down. True it wasn’t raining, but there was
a chilly wind, and Edward was glad when he saw the bus only a couple of minutes after
he reached the stop. When he arrived at his office, he had the strange feeling that
he had not left, as though he had been there throughout the night. Most of the time
between leaving the day before, and arriving just now, was unaccountable, almost
as though it had never happened, and he had to remind himself that it was indeed
a new day.
It wasn’t long however before the ‘new day’ imposed itself upon him. Soon the
Accident and Emergency department was in full flow and Edward became, as usual, an
important part of the team who were doing their best to deal with the mishaps, the
misfits, and the skirmishes, of the night before.
Mid morning came and he took a short break from the ward and went to buy a morning
paper from the kiosk in the cafeteria, used by visitors to the hospital. He bought
a cup of tea, and as he looked for a spare table he spotted a familiar face. He approached
the table, and said, “Hello Mrs. Marshall, do you remember me?”.
Margaret looked up and saw that it was the nice male nurse who had given her
so much comfort on the day that Bill had died.
“Yes I remember you,” she said, “but please forgive me, I don’t recall your
“No of course, and why would you; you had more than enough to think about on
that day.” He waited a few moments before asking, “Do you mind if I sit down?”
Margaret gestured to the empty seat, and as he sat Edward offered his hand and
said “Edward Willett; it’s very nice to see you again.”
Edward asked how she was coping, and Margaret replied, in the way people do
in a rather non committal way "Oh' alright I guess."
When eventually Edward asked about Jonathon, she was more forthright, “I don’t
know how you kept your temper.” she said, remembering Jonathon’s outburst.
“Yes,” Edward agreed, “he was very angry, wasn’t he. Has he managed to cope?”
Margaret found it hard to answer, because she really wasn’t sure how he was
coping. “He recently found a new girlfriend.” a longish pause. “I’m sure that has
helped him, and he does seem to have calmed down a lot, but I think he is keeping
his feelings all bottled up.”
Something else was still in her mind. “I was so embarrassed when he was so rude
to you: I hope you can forgive him.” she asked with a half smile.
“Of course, and I am pleased to hear that he is getting over it; such a shock
for you all,” he continued, “and I hope you can move on too; try to build a new life
They chatted until, all at once he realized that he had overstayed his morning
break by twenty minutes and had to excuse himself and leave.
“Look after yourself,” he said as he walked away “I hope we will meet again.”
Margaret watched him walk away, aware that he was a man in whose company she felt
comfortable. Nothing more that that, but conscious of feeling at ease. But, notwithstanding
that feeling, reluctantly she stood up; she too had a job to go to.
A few days passed, and Margaret was glad of the routine in the supermarket,
the stability of being where you should be, when you should be, helped to gradually
bring some kind of order back to her life. There were many busy times when it was
not possible to dwell on other things; and there were quieter, calmer times. It was
one of those quiet times following a period of hectic activity. The calm after the
storm. Margaret was glad of the rest knowing that her tea break was on hour away.
The constant bleep bleep as she passed the contents of customer’s shopping trolleys
under the sensor, was at times hypnotic, and sometimes irritating. Most of the time
she didn’t even notice it, but whenever she was off colour, or stressed for any reason,
it could be hard to bear. Oddly, today she was neither of those things, but still
she was finding it difficult not to scream, or to concentrate. No doubt the events
of recent weeks had knocked her equilibrium out of kilter, and the long queues of
customers during the previous hour had wearied her, so this little lull was very
Her bereavement had made little difference to her life style, and was unlikely
to do so. Their joint savings and investments were modest, and though she had been
told that Bill’s insurance cover, both private and a work scheme, would bring her
a nice bonus, it would not be enough to allow her to retire. So she would probably
continue to man the till, here at the supermarket, just as she had been doing for
these past years.
During these few quiet moments she had drifted into a day dream imagining how
it might be if there was a lot of money coming to her. Where would she go to, and
what would she spend it on?
Mental pictures of golden sands and beautiful places were brought to an end
by a tapping noise, and her daydream was replaced by the reality of her check out
till, for there stood a customer, who was gently tapping a coin to attract her attention.
“Oh I’m sorry,”, Margaret said, feeling a little silly, “I was miles away.”
“I know you were,” said the customer, with a little laugh, “and you had such
a smile on your face.” she continued, “I don’t know where you were , but next time
can I come too?”.
They both laughed at this, and soon the customers purchases had been beeped,
she paid her money and moved as if to go, then stopped.
“I was very sorry to hear about your husband.” she said “It must have been a
big shock to you.”
Smile’s and laughs had been in rather short supply lately, and the little interlude
had been a pleasant one, and though the customers word of sympathy were well meant,
they rather spoiled the sense of fun that they had both been enjoying.
“Never mind,”, Margaret said to herself, “each day will be a another day, and
I expect it will gradually get better.”
She was getting busy again, so there would be no more day dreams today. Her
priority now was to get to her tea break, when, instead of a rest, she would be doing
some shopping for her family.
Three quarters of an hour later found her with a basket over her arm, and a
list in her hand, while she pondered over frozen food cabinet. Emma liked fish fingers,
but Jonathon needed something a little more substantial. And for herself?. She knew
that whatever she decided on for her children would be alright for her. Engrossed
in this domestic world of choices, and once again oblivious of anything else, she
was surprised to hear someone saying her name. It was a familiar voice, but not,
she knew at once, that of a colleague.
“Mrs. Marshall?” the voice said again.
Looking up she was pleased to see that it was Mr. Willett, from the hospital.
“Hello,” she said, pausing just slightly. “Edward...how nice to see you again.”
“And you too” he said “how are you now, and are things starting to come together
“Oh yes, it get’s better each day, and I feel that the worst is over now,” she
said, as before feeling comfortable and at ease. “but there are times when it all
seems to be a dream."
"I’m sorry if I have caught you at a bad time.” he said, and then quickly in
case the chance didn’t come again. “Have you time to take a break and come for a
coffee with me?”
“That would be nice,” Margaret answered, “but I only have about a quarter of
an hour of my break left.”
“That’s great.” he said, “We can go to the coffee bar here in the supermarket.”
When they were settled in the coffee bar Edward said “I was hoping I might see
you; I’ve thought about you quite a lot, since we met the other day, and I've wondered
how you are getting on.”
Margaret felt that it might be a good idea to be frank about her life with Bill.
“You have been very kind,” she started, “and I am sure your sympathy is genuine,
but my life hasn’t changed all that much you know.” Edward must have been wearing
a puzzled looked, so she continued. “Bill and I have not had a very happy relationship
for years, and we were living more or less separate live. Of course it was a shock,
and I wish he hadn’t died the way he did - but he did.” she ended abruptly.
Edward was at a loss how to respond, and his silence allowed Margaret to continue.
“I half expected him to leave me ages ago, but he didn’t. In fact I suspected that
he was seeing another woman, and I’m pretty sure that she came to his funeral.” Margaret
remembered the tearful young lady she had seen standing a little way from the others
at the grave side. For a moment she was lost in her thoughts, and then she was back
to the present, adding, as though on the spur of the moment “I expect in the end,
like most men, he took the easy way out.”
Edward was still silent, and Margaret, having found the chance to say, what
until now she had only been able to think, was starting to flow.
“Well he was having the best of both worlds wasn’t he” it was more of a statement
than a question, “I provided him with a home, and meals, and a clean shirt, and,
Oh, you know what I mean; and she was providing the other; if you know what I mean?”
As she emphasized the last phrase to make her point, a little touch of anger
was present in her voice.
At last Edward found something to say “Yes I do know what you mean, and it can’t
have been easy for you.” he said.
Margaret had regained her composure, and speaking normally again. “Do you know,
I didn’t really mind him having another woman. We had no interest in each other any
more, so there was nothing for me to be jealous about.” She waited to see if Edward
wanted to come in, but as he made no attempt to do so she carried on .“He might have
been using her for 'you know what'; but I was more angry with him for using me as
a sort of servant," she sighed "but eventually I even got used to that.”
Once again Edward was only able to add a brief comment
“It wasn’t much of a life for you though was it?”, he said, before Margaret
was off again.
“It wasn’t so bad really, I was earning some money, and Bill must have been
doing alright, because he paid his way. There aren’t many good things I can think
of to say about him,” she said somewhat reluctantly, “but he wasn’t tight with his
“So you see” she said, as if summing up their conversation, “my life is easier
in some ways than it was before, and I don’t think there will be any problems, except;”
and there she stopped.
Edward was waiting, “Except,” she paused again, “well I don’t know how it is
going to affect Jonathon.” she finally was able to say.
At last Edward felt that he could contribute. “Do you think it would help if
I were to talk to him?” he said, and then, remembering his angry outburst, “Do you
think he would talk to me now?” he asked.
Margaret was a little uncertain about this. “He has settled down a lot since
that day,” she said “and I think he has come to terms with the way things are now,
but he never speaks about it, and I am worried about him. It would be nice of you
to try to help; but how could we do it; I’m sure he would refuse if I just ask him
to talk to you.”
“Perhaps we can think of a reason for him to accompany you to the hospital,
and I will make sure that I was available, and then we might ‘just happen' to bump
into each other.” Edward looked at her, waiting to see if she thought the idea might
“We can try,” she said “but I don’t know if it will work.”
“Right.” said Edward in an assertive manner that not too long ago he would not
have been capable of. “It’s agreed then.” he said looking directly at Margaret “There’s
nothing to loose, and if it helps just a little it will be worth while.” and then
he added “Anyway, I’d like to see him again to see what he is really like. Here’s
my card, get in touch as soon as you can work out a good time.”
“Now,” he said as he stood up from his chair, “I must let you get back to work
before I get you into trouble.”
She looked back at him as he left, and smiled, “I’ll look forward to it.”
Margaret was late back to her post after this little interlude, and was met
by her supervisor when she took her place at the checkout.
“Your twelve minutes late.” she said, holding up her arm so that her wrist watch
was in full view.
“I’m sorry,” Margaret replied, “I’ve just met one of the doctors from the hospital,
and he wanted to know how things are after losing Bill.”
Margaret felt that the slight exaggeration of Edwards status would help her
cause a little, and anyway she felt, it wasn’t really a lie.
“You should have come to me if you wanted some time, and I would have found
a stand in for you,” The supervisor was making good use of her authority while she
had the chance, “and because you didn’t show up all the pressure is on the other
Margaret looked round quickly at the other tills and the store, and it didn’t
look any different to normal.
“Look Mrs Woods,” she said firmly “I didn’t expect to be late!, and I’m sorry,
but things are not normal for me at the moment, and I have to deal with each situation
as it occurs.” Squaring up to her boss, and looking directly at her she continued,
“I’ve worked here a long time, I have always been conscientious, and I think in the
circumstances I deserve a little support.”
Margaret was not by nature over assertive, but she would stand her ground if
she felt strongly about something, and right now she not prepared to be put down,
by a much younger, less experienced person. When she started to speak again Margaret
spoke even louder to maintain her flow.
“I know you have your degree, and you’ve had your special training, but you
haven’t learnt about people.”
Margaret was quite angry now, and her adversary was visibly shocked at a display
of emotion she had not seen before in her. But Margaret had not finished. “When you
learn about people and how to treat them properly, come and talk to me again.”
She stopped, both ladies staring at each other for what seemed like half a minute,
neither with anything more to say, but it was Margaret who broke the silence. “Excuse
me,” she said finally, still eye to eye with her now deflated supervisor, “I have
work to do.”
She turned to one side and made her way to her check out, aware of the looks
she was getting from the other operators, and indeed from other staff members, who
had been hovering to observe the commotion. She was less angry now, and in fact was
aware of a sense of victory. It was of course only a small battle, and would not
change anything, but she liked the feeling of achievement. She had stood up for herself
and won; an achievement in itself, and she felt sure that she had not only surprised,
but had gained the respect, of some of her fellow workers.
Her anger now gone, she was feeling quite pleased, and allowed herself the luxury
of a half smile when she noticed that the supervisor had found something urgent to
do at the other end of the store.