It had been Debbie’s idea for us to have a picnic by the river to celebrate finishing high school. She had led the way down the track from the carpark that took us all the way to the base of the waterfall, with the sound of tumbling water becoming a roar by the time we had reached the picnic area at the bottom.
It was late summer and the sound of cicadas in the air rose and fell as I held Andrew’s hand and looked at the beautiful surroundings. There was a small clearing by the edge of the river, and the water eddied past crazily. A small pebbly beach led into the river and the day was so hot that Debbie and Rose wasted no time in jumping into the water and began splashing around.
“Come on in, you guys,” Debbie yelled from the middle of the river. I hesitated because it looked murky and I couldn’t see the bottom, but once Andrew hopped in I slipped my yellow summer dress over my head and straightened my swimming costume, before taking a deep breath and jumping in after him.
I gasped at how cold the water was, and Andrew reached out as my head broke the surface. I always felt safe and content whenever he held me and I had this sudden urge to kiss him to show my love. I couldn’t quite touch the bottom but Andrew was able to stand and I wrapped my arms and legs around his body for support.
He started tickling me and I squealed and jumped away until he swam after me and started teasing and tickling all over again. Our bodies were slippery from the water and I was able to escape again easily, but his long arms grabbed mine and pulled me back towards him and I was still giggling as our lips met.
After a while I started to get cold from the water so I said I was going to climb out and lay on the picnic blanket in the warm sunshine. Andrew came and lay down beside me with his brown legs softly touching my pale skin. I turned toward him and smiled.
“I could just stay here like this forever,” I said, as the sunlight sparkled magically on the surface of the water. Andrew brushed the wet hair from my forehead and smiled back. He didn’t say anything, but I knew he felt the same way I did.
Debbie and Rose had swum right up to the base of the waterfall and I could hear them screaming as the water rushed them back downstream toward us. I had never felt as happy as I did at that moment.
I didn’t want to think about the future, but I knew that Debbie and Rose would be leaving at the end of the week. They were both heading to Canberra to start university; Rose was going to study fine art and Debbie had set her heart on becoming a maths teacher. The twins had spent all summer trying to talk me into joining them, but I had no idea what I wanted to study and it all seemed to be too hard to think about. I had never been away from home before and I just couldn’t imagine myself doing it.
Andrew was just about to start his second year at university, studying medicine just like his father wanted. He still came home most weekends, so the past year hadn’t really been any different for us than when he was still at boarding school, and the summer had been perfect because he was home for three whole months and we had spent nearly every day together. Andrew was teaching me how to play the guitar and we spent hours singing and playing together. He talked about how he wanted to start a band with some friends at university, and I watched his eager eyes glowing with excitement. But whenever I asked about his studies he always sounded bored and he would change the subject. I wished I could share that side of his life with him, but instead he would start me talking about poetry and ask to hear my latest poems. Sometimes we just spent the whole afternoon in the park, laying on the grass in the shade and I would read to him as he stroked my hair. Then I would put my book down and we would kiss sweetly as my heart beat in time with his. The only future I could see was Andrew and I together. I felt like we were one and I couldn’t imagine us not being together.
But I knew I would have to say goodbye to him soon as well because he would be heading back to Sydney a couple of days after Rose and Debbie left. I could feel myself starting to get sad, so I tried not to think about them all leaving me behind and I melted my body against Andrew’s and kissed him again instead.
All too soon everyone had left town and I moped around the house on my own for days. Mum kept saying that I needed to get out and find a job now that school was finished and the summer was over, and I knew she was right but I just didn’t know how to do it. She suggested I ask in some shops to see if they were looking for someone. I tried it once but I was so embarrassed about asking that I ended up just pretending that I was a customer and bought a dress instead.
Mum told me that I should try a bit harder than that, so the next day I put on a nice skirt and my old school blouse and walked back down the street to try again.
The first place I came to was a small supermarket, and I walked inside and asked at the counter if I could see the manager.
“I’m afraid he’s busy, love,” said the large woman behind the counter. “Could you come back tomorrow?”
“Oh, ummm, I wanted to ask about a job. Is there anyone else I could talk to?” I knew I wouldn’t come back if I didn’t do it while I was there.
“Well, hang on and I’ll see if I can find him.” She sighed heavily and put the magazine she had been reading back in the rack.
I stood there awkwardly as the woman disappeared down one of the aisles. I kept shifting from foot to foot as my legs started to ache and I looked down at the dirty floor tiles. I was so embarrassed to be just standing there without doing anything as shoppers kept walking past me on their way in and out of the store. A couple of times the young woman at the checkout turned and asked if I needed help with anything, but I just said I was fine thanks. I think she thought I was planning to rob the store.
Eventually the other lady came back and said the manager had one spare minute to see me. “It’s accounts day, you know, so Mr Peters is pretty busy this morning,” she said as I followed her down the aisle. There were boxes of pet food and cleaning products leaning against the shelves. A bright red sign announced that the toothpaste was a ‘dollar saver’.
“It’s pay day on top of that,” the woman kept saying, “So he really doesn’t have a minute to spare, you know.” I started to feel guilty for disturbing him when he was so busy, but we reached the back of the supermarket and there was a little office squeezed into the corner amongst some pallets of toilet paper. She pushed the door open and knocked.
“In you go,” she said, “He doesn’t bite.”
I walked through the open door and saw a man sitting at a desk with his back to me. Cigarette smoke was drifting up lazily from an ash tray on the corner of the desk. The smoke made my stomach feel even sicker than it already was and I couldn’t stop myself from coughing.
“Have a seat,” he said in a gruff voice without even turning around. “I’ll be with you in a moment.”
I looked around and saw a chair in the corner of the office so I sat on it with my knees pressed together and my hands in my lap. My heart was racing as I looked around the office and waited for Mr Peters to finish what he was doing. In the other corner of the room was a metal filing cabinet. Its drawers were open and there were papers sticking out of it everywhere. The timber panelled walls were bare except for a chart with names and lines scribbled all over it, and there was a calendar with a picture of a topless woman stretched across a car tyre. I was so embarrassed that I quickly looked down at my fingernails instead.
Eventually, Mr Peters turned around and stared at me from behind his thick glasses. “What do you want?” he suddenly asked. I saw his eyes flicker down at my legs and I squeezed them tighter together.
“Ummm, I was hoping to, ummm, get a job.”
“A job? Do you know how many people want a job here?” I was surprised at the way he responded and just shook my head. “Do you have any experience?”
I shook my head again and said that I didn’t have any experience, but I was hoping to get some.
“No experience,” he repeated. He looked me up and down and then grinned. “You’re a pretty thing, though. Maybe I could find a use for you. Stand up,” he said. I could feel my legs trembling and I just wanted to get out of there, but I did as he asked. He stood up and walked towards me and I thought he was going to reach his hand out and touch me, but he stopped himself and scratched his chin instead. “Why don’t you come back on Monday? I won’t be so busy then and we can see if we can find a position for you. We could do with some new talent around here.”
He turned back toward his desk and I stammered thanks and couldn’t get out of the office fast enough. I ran down the aisle and then had to squeeze past some people to get through the checkout. The large woman at the front counter lifted her head from the magazine. “How did you go, dear?” she called out.
I didn’t answer her and just ran through the front door as tears burst from my eyes. I spent the rest of the day sitting in the park and when I got home that afternoon I told Mum that I hadn’t been able to find a job. She looked at me with that concerned frown she gets sometimes, but she didn’t say anything. I went into my bedroom and lay on my bed to have another cry. There was no way I was ever going back to that supermarket again.
Then Jasmine came to the rescue a few weeks later when she told Mum on the phone one night that she could get me a job in the bank where she worked in Sydney. I didn’t like the sound of working in a bank or living in Sydney, but Mum said it would be good for me to be more independent, so in the end it was just easier to go with the flow than to argue. Besides, Andrew was in Sydney and I would be able to see more of him so it couldn’t all be bad.
Jasmine said she had a spare room in her apartment and I could stay with her until I got settled, so Mum drove me down to Sydney on the weekend before I was meant to start work. We got lost a couple of times in the city traffic, but Mum eventually found the way to the little street where Jasmine lived in the western suburbs.
She met us at the front door and gave Mum a big hug. “Hey Molly,” she said to me as I walked inside. The apartment was only small but there were two bedrooms and Jasmine showed me where to put my bag. I walked inside the room and looked at the single bed mattress on the floor. There was no cupboard, but there was a small dressing table that I could put some things in. I walked over to the window and looked out to see the brick wall of the next building facing me.
“Well this is lovely, isn’t it,” Mum said brightly as she walked into the bedroom. As I turned and looked at her I could feel tears forming in my eyes, but Mum pretended not to notice and started unpacking some of my clothes into the dressing table. I helped her and shortly after it was time for her to drive back home.
We walked slowly out to the car as Mum reminded me that I needed to look after myself in the city. “Be careful that you don’t walk around at night,” she said, “and make sure you eat properly. Don’t go skipping meals or anything, okay? No matter what time of day or night it is, I am only just a phone call away, so if you get into any bother then call please. And don’t forget to iron your clothes the night before, and then you won’t have so much to do in the mornings before work.”
I nodded and hugged her goodbye. As I stood on the kerb and watched Mum drive away, I suddenly felt more lost and lonely than I had ever felt in my life. I saw Mum’s hand wave out the window just as she turned the corner, and then the car disappeared. I kept standing there looking down the street for a while, until I saw some men walking towards me and I hurried back inside the apartment.
Jasmine was sitting on the lounge when I walked inside and she looked up at me. “Okay little sis, some house rules. If you make a mess, you clean it up. It’s my television so I have the say on what we watch, and I don’t want to hear your music. Most important of all, if I have a guy over then I want you to make yourself scarce, okay?”
I nodded in reply and she went back to reading her book, so I walked into my bedroom and sat on the mattress and cried.
Jasmine had shown me where to catch the train, so when Monday morning came I knew all I had to do was get dressed and be at the railway station by seven o’clock.
I could feel the butterflies in my stomach as I slipped into the ugly green dress that was the bank uniform. Jasmine had given me one of her old uniforms and said she didn’t need it any more now that she was a loans officer.
I skipped breakfast and grabbed my bag as I ran out the door. I only had a ten minute walk to the railway station, but I was so worried about being late for work that I took no notice of my surroundings and just hurried down the street.
I reached the station and waited at the top of the escalator for a space in the crowd so that I could step on. Eventually I saw a gap but as I put my foot on the step a man elbowed me in the back.
“Excuse me,” a brusque voice said. As I turned the man pushed past me and hurried down the stairs. A woman in high heels did the same thing and then it seemed everyone was rushing down the escalator faster than it could move.
I finally reached the bottom as a train arrived with a whoosh and the doors opened to let the crowd spill out. I was suddenly pulled along by the tide and found myself inside the carriage just as the doors shut and we were moving off. There was nowhere to sit so I had to stand and hang onto the railing to stop myself from falling over while the train swayed along noisily. I tried to make myself as small as possible so that I didn’t bump into anybody, but the man behind me kept pressing his leg into my hip.
Eventually the train arrived at Central Station and I was soon being pushed along by the crowd again. I recognised the cafe where Mum and I had eaten breakfast with Debbie and Rose all those years ago in the corner of the railway station. I started thinking of them and wondered how they were enjoying university. I hadn’t heard from them since they had left and everything had happened so quickly for me that I didn’t get time to write and tell them where I was going, but I hoped they wouldn’t forget about me.
After going the wrong way a few times, I finally found my way to Oxford Street and then I could see the bank building on the corner with its large green sign. I looked at my watch and started to panic when I realised I was going to be a few minutes late. The pedestrian lights took forever to change to green, but eventually I was across and I took a deep breath as I walked up to the front door of the bank. I remembered how Rose always told me to breathe when I was stressed so I tried to calm myself as the glass doors slid open.
There was a woman behind the green counter sorting coins in a tray, and I walked over to her and asked if I could see the manager.
She looked at my bank uniform and smiled as she said, “You must be the new girl. Hi, I’m Wendy. Just hang on a tick and I’ll get Mr Fitzgerald.”
She disappeared behind a wall and I stood there uncertainly for a few minutes until the door opened.
“Molly White is it? I’m Mr Fitzgerald.” He held the door open and motioned for me to walk through into his office. He closed the door as I sat down and I quickly looked around the room and noticed how neat and professional looking everything was. There were piles of paper on his desk, all neatly arranged and sitting in plastic trays, and a photo of a woman and some happy kids. Mr Fitzgerald sat down and looked at me and I quickly looked down at my light brown shoes against the green carpet.
He was smiling as I looked back up. “So, Molly. Welcome to the bank. You’re sister Jasmine is well thought of so I have high expectations of you.”
I nodded and tried to smile.
“Working in a bank is a very important responsibility to have. We take ourselves seriously as we look after people’s money and their business affairs. You must never talk about bank business in the outside world, but there is a lot of opportunity to progress. If you work hard and do extra study, you could even progress to be a loans officer like your sister. The bank has had quite a few girls that have become loans officers. We are quite proud of the opportunities we have given to girls.” He looked across the desk at me and smiled again benevolently. I nodded as though I understood what he was talking about.
“Now, we have some paperwork to get through, and then I will get someone to take you around and meet the other staff.”
I spent the next half hour sitting at a little table in the corner of his office and filled in so many forms that I thought my hand was going to drop off. When I finished, Mr Fitzgerald told me that Caroline would be my supervisor. If I ever needed anything, I just had to ask Caroline and she would be glad to help me.
As soon as Mr Fitzgerald left, Caroline turned to me and said, “Don’t think you’re going to get an easy time just because your sister works in the bank.”
I shook my head and said quietly that I didn’t expect to. She then showed me to my desk, which was immediately behind the accountant’s office. There was a large green journal on the desk, a small green cashbox, and a huge pile of envelopes that looked like they were about to topple over. Caroline said it was my job to make sure the mail went out twice a day, and each letter had to be recorded in the journal. I also had to make sure there were enough stamps in the cashbox, and if it ever ran out then I would be in big trouble.
We then walked into the accountant’s office, which was actually just a glass-walled enclosure in the middle of the bank. Caroline said the accountant was like the office manager and Mr Wilkinson would have my ass if I ever stuffed up.
Mr Wilkinson stood up as we walked into his office and he shook my hand firmly. I was a little scared of him. “Welcome to the bank, Molly,” he said in a loud voice. “Just do what Caroline tells you and you’ll get along fine.”
I said I would, and then we moved on to a young woman sitting at a typewriter. “This is Leanne,” said Caroline, “She is the typist.”
“Stenographer, Caroline,” Leanne corrected her.
“You have to collect all the letters off her desk, and she doesn’t like it if the pile gets too big.”
Leanne pulled a face at Caroline, and we kept walking as she went back to her work. Wendy was serving customers, so we weren’t introduced, but I said I had already sort of met her when I first came in. Caroline told me I had to pick up all the vouchers from Wendy’s drawer and take them to the proof machine operator at the back of the branch. I should probably do that every half hour or so, or more often if it was really busy. She showed me where the proof machine was against the back wall, and there was a tray where I had to put all the cheques and vouchers.
“Jimmy operates the proof machine, but he is out the back sleeping off a hangover.”
I said, ‘oh’, even though I wasn’t sure what she meant. We went back to my desk and I sat down and looked at the pile of envelopes. Caroline told me to stamp them all and then take the pile down to the post office. She said she would be watching me and if I took too long then I would be in trouble.
I sat down at the desk and began putting stamps on the envelopes. I tried to work as quickly as I could, but every now and then I got tired and would stop for a break. Then I lifted my head and saw Caroline was glaring at me, so I quickly went back to work.
Eventually I was finished and found myself outside and walking towards the post office. The sun was shining through the clouds, but I hardly had time to notice as I walked as quickly as I could down the street. Caroline said I had ten minutes to get there and back or I would cop it, and I nearly panicked when I saw the long queue in the post office. It took forever to get to the front of the line and when I got to the counter I asked the lady what I should do with my pile of envelopes. She impatiently pointed to the mail box near the front door and said I should just put them in there. “Next!” she said loudly before I had even walked away.
I put the envelopes in the chute and then ran all the way back to the bank, but again I had to wait for the pedestrian light to go green and I knew I was going to be late.
“Sixteen minutes!” Caroline said sharply as I walked back into the bank. Mr Wilkinson lifted his head and frowned at me. “What took you so long?”
I started to explain about the long queue and how it was so slow.
“What were you doing in the queue? All you had to do was put the envelopes in the mailbox. You are as stupid as your sister.” I tried to say I was sorry and that I would be quicker next time, but she interrupted me and said I needed to get moving with the vouchers from the teller’s box because they were piling up.
She let me go and I hurried toward the front of the branch and picked up the pile of paper next to Wendy’s elbow. “Don’t worry about her,” she whispered kindly and smiled. “She does that to all the juniors.” I tried to smile back but I was trying hard to stop the tears.
I walked quickly toward the back of the office and saw a guy sitting at the proof machine. He had long curly hair and his tie was undone and hanging loose. He looked up and grinned at me.
“Hey babe, and who might you be?”
“I’m Molly, I’m new,” I said softly.
“You’re new are you? I knew you were new,” he said and laughed. “I’m pleased to meet you, Molly. I’m Jimmy. Just pop those down there in the tray, and don’t worry about old dragon breath. She likes to throw her weight around.”
I smiled quickly and went back to my desk to begin folding more letters into envelopes.
When the day finally finished and I was allowed to go home, I walked outside to find that it was already dark. The air was chilly but I hadn’t brought a cardigan with me, so I just had to walk to the railway station with my arms folded across my chest as I shivered all the way.
“Hey, Molly, wait up,” a voice called out. I turned and saw Jimmy running towards me. “Hey, babe. You heading to Central? Can I walk with you?”
“I guess,” I said uncertainly. But then I thought it might be better to have company than walk in the dark by myself, so I relaxed a little.
“You look cold, babe. Do you want to borrow my jacket?”
I felt a bit awkward about taking it and said that I was fine, but he took his jacket off and put it around my shoulders anyway.
“You get used to the cold after a while,” he said. Where do you live?”
“Parramatta. I’m sharing with my sister.”
“Oh cool! I’m at Parramatta too. I can keep you company on the train.”
We walked along in silence for a little while and I had to walk fast to keep up with him.
“How did you enjoy your first day in the bank?”
“It was okay,” I replied, but the reminder of work brought tears back into my eyes. I was glad it was dark so that he couldn’t see them.
We made it to Central Station and hopped on the first train. Jimmy found us seats and we sat together all the way back to Parramatta. He wanted to walk home with me, but I told him that it wasn’t far and I would be fine on my own. I handed his jacket back and then hurried away.
The apartment was dark when I walked inside so I turned the light on and sat down at the table to wait for Jasmine. When she didn’t come home after a while, I thought I might try and ring Andrew but there was no answer. I put the phone down and then waited a bit longer for Jasmine to come home. I wasn’t sure if I was meant to wait for her before eating, but after a while I just had some toast and then crawled onto my mattress and cried myself to sleep.
The next day I got up half an hour earlier for work and found that the train wasn’t as crowded at that time as it had been the day before. When I arrived at the bank the doors were still locked so I waited outside on the footpath until Mr Wilkinson came and opened the building.
There was already a pile of letters on my desk so I immediately got to work at putting the stamps on them, when Mr Wilkinson called me in to see him. “Sit down,” he said. “I know you are new, but this morning you were waiting outside the branch before it was open. That is against bank policy because it could attract thieves. If you arrive early you should wait across the road so that nobody sees. Okay?” I nodded my head and said I was sorry. I didn’t know and I wouldn’t do it again.
I went back to my desk and Caroline called me over. “In the store room at the back, there is a cabinet on wheels. It’s full of signature cards and you need to bring it down the front each morning so that everyone can get access to it.”
I nodded and said okay and went looking for the cabinet. I saw something on wheels in the corner and thought that must be it and started wheeling it out of the store room. But then I came to the step between the store room and the front part of the branch and I wasn’t sure how I was meant to get the cabinet down. I looked up and saw Caroline glaring at me, so I tried to ease the front wheels over the edge of the step, but as it went over I suddenly realised how heavy the cabinet was and I couldn’t hold it. The whole thing landed on the floor with a loud crash as the drawers flew open and thousands of small cards scattered everywhere.
“What the hell was that?” I heard from Mr Wilkinson’s office.
I wasn’t game to look up as I started picking up the cards.
“You idiot,” yelled Caroline. “What did you think you were doing?”
“Bloody hell, look at that mess!” Mr Wilkinson roared as he saw the cards scattered everywhere. “Jimmy, help her.”
Jimmy came over from his proof machine and started helping me pick up the cards. “She did that deliberately, you know,” he whispered to me. “Nobody ever brings the drawers down that step. That was just Caroline being mean; she knew this would happen. Don’t worry about it, Molly.”
It took me nearly all day to sort all the cards into alphabetical order and put them back into the drawers. Jimmy rode home on the train with me again, and after my terrible day I was glad that I had his company.
“So where are you from, Molly? You don’t seem like a city girl.”
I told him I was from Orange and I was sharing an apartment with my sister. “She helped me get the job,” I said.
“Oh yeah, Jasmine White. I’ve met her a few times at bank functions. You look nothing like her, you know. Do you know anyone else in Sydney?”
“My boyfriend is here. He is studying medicine at Sydney Uni.”
“Oh, cool. So you’ve got a boyfriend? You know, you should come out with us on the weekend sometime. There are some great parties and it’s a good way to meet people.”
I told him that sounded nice, but I thought I would be busy with Andrew on the weekend. I didn’t want to tell him that I’d never been to a party before.
Jasmine was on the lounge when I got back to the apartment. “Hey, little sis. There’s some risotto on the stove if you want some.”
I said thanks and put a little bit on a plate then went and sat on the lounge next to Jasmine.
“How is work going?”
“It’s okay,” I said. I pushed the rice around my plate and ate a couple of grains. I could see she was watching me but I kept my eyes down.
“I hope Caroline has been nice to you.”
“Oh yeah, she’s great.” I didn’t want her to see how close I was to crying so I took my plate back out to the kitchen and tipped my uneaten dinner in the rubbish bin.
“Let me know if she’s being mean, won’t you?” she said as I walked back into the lounge room. I nodded and then asked if she minded if I tried to ring Andrew. She said that was fine and I picked up the phone and dialled his number. It rang and rang for ages until eventually a female voice answered it.
“Oh, hi, ummm, is Andrew Barnes there please?”
“He’s in the shower, can I take a message?”
“Oh, ummm, do you know how long he will be?”
“No idea. Who is this?”
“Ummm, it’s Molly. Ummm, Molly White.”
“Well I’ll let him know you called.” She hung up and I sat there staring at the phone in my hand.
“Is everything okay?” Jasmine called out from the lounge room.
“Yeah, he wasn’t there.”
I soon settled into the routine of work and every morning I arrived early and waited in the park over the road. As soon as the doors were unlocked I rushed across and started on my pile of envelopes. I did them as quickly as I could and dropped them off at the post office before Caroline could say anything.
Every time I dropped the cheques and vouchers at Jimmy’s proof machine he smiled at me and said something like, “Hey babe, slow down. You’re wearing me inside out.” Sometimes he even made me laugh.
I was allowed a half hour lunch break and I decided that I was going to sit in the park instead of just staying at my desk. I saw Caroline look up at the clock as I walked out the door but she didn’t say anything.
The park was just across the road from the bank building so I didn’t have to go far. I found a bench in the shade and pulled a book out of my bag. I hadn’t felt like reading much since I had been in Sydney, but I opened up at the bookmark and tried to remember where the story was up to. I had started reading Charles Dickens and I smiled to myself when I thought of how much Caroline was like Scrooge.
I read a couple of pages and then stopped to watch the lunch time crowd walking through the park. Some guys were dressed in shorts and tee shirts and were throwing a football around. I started thinking about Andrew and wished I could get in touch with him, when I noticed a payphone on the corner of the park. I put my book and untouched sandwich back in my bag and walked over to the phone and took some coins from my purse.
They rattled loudly as I dropped them into the slot, then I dialled Andrew’s number. Again, it rang and rang and rang, until all of a sudden his voice was on the other end.
“Andrew, hi… it’s Molly.”
“Molly? Hey sweetie, how are you? What are you doing?”
“I’m in Sydney. I’ve been trying to ring you for weeks.”
“Really? That’s fantastic. Where are you?”
“I’m at Hyde Park right now, but I’m working in a bank on Oxford Street. I’m staying with Jasmine at Parramatta.”
“That’s cool. Well I’m at Newtown, it’s on your way to Parramatta by train.”
“Is it? Oh Andrew, I could get off there on the way home tonight and see you.”
“Sorry sweetie, tonight’s no good. I’ve, ummm, got something on. How about Saturday, and then maybe we can do stuff together all day.”
“Okay,” I said. I really wanted to see him tonight, but I guess if I had to wait for the weekend that would be alright.
We talked for a little bit longer until the coins dropped through the slot and then the phone cut off. I hung up and crossed the road to get back to work. As I walked through the door, Caroline looked up from her desk.
“You’re five minutes late,” she said. “I will have to tell Mr Wilkinson and he’ll take it out of your pay.”
I walked past her and sat at my desk and looked at the pile of letters that had appeared since I’d left for lunch. I didn’t care what Caroline said, I felt happy because I was going to see Andrew on Saturday.