It was one of those weeks where the hours slowly melt into each other, indistinguishable from the last and thoroughly uneventful. Spencer was back in work and boiling the kettle for her, but each morning it made her think of the day he was off sick and it sent a chill down her spine. There was no sign of Sep, and by the end of the week she had almost convinced herself that she’d nearly forgotten all about him.
Friday morning as she left for work, wrapped up well as usual, a letter in her post box caught her eye on the way past. The words ‘how unusual’ popped into her head as she reached for the white envelope, ‘the post man doesn’t usually come before ten o’ clock.’
It was addressed to her, so she tore it open with obvious curiosity. Seeing the letterhead first, she quickly scanned the main body of the letter.
‘Trainee Archive Manager… you have been selected for an interview on…’
Next Tuesday! She leant against the wall and squeezed her eyes shut as if to double check that she wasn’t still asleep. This was all going so quickly. She considered going back up to tell Ricky, but being as she was going to have to ask for a day off at very short notice, she felt was probably best not to be late for work.
There was more of spring in her step even though she worried at her lip with her teeth trying to figure out what she would do if they said no.
She’d have to tell Sandy too, she hoped she wouldn’t kick up too much of a fuss, not before she’d even had an interview.
All the phone calls had been made before Sandy got in, her day off had been arranged.
‘Brrr it’s freezing out there’ Sandy declared on her way in. ‘Hang on why do you look like you’ve just been caught with you’re hands in the till?’
No point denying it now. Might as well get it over and done with.
‘I’ve got an interview for a job, miles away, in the countryside.’
‘Oh Bloody Hell Christina! Break it to me gently why don’t you?’
‘I know, I know, but I really want this job.’
Sandy’s stance softened and her eyes relaxed as she stopped thinking about herself and started to feel happy for her friend.
‘Well, good on you girl. We should go for a drink to celebrate after work.’
‘I can’t tonight, I’ve got to tell Ricky and then…’
‘…you haven’t told Ricky?’
‘… and then I’ll have to look up how to get to this place in time for the interview on Tuesday’
Sandy just stood there with her hand on her hip, her coat still on and her eyebrow raised as a reminder to her unanswered question.’
‘He was still in bed when I left.’ She rushed, trying not to betray that she was secretly dreading telling him. ‘What about Tuesday, when I get back from my interview? I should be getting back around about the same time as you finish work, we could go straight out’
‘Oh yeah, I’m going to be here on my own all day aren’t I? This place gives me the creeps when I’m on my own. Ok. Tuesday. And you’re staying out late, you owe me for leaving me here alone all day.’
‘Deal!’ Christina smiled and nodded, that had gone well, she headed off to fill the kettle up and make a cup of tea.
Meatballs in chorizo and tomato sauce. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This was certainly true of Ricky and she was just about finished cooking it when he came through the door. The smell hit him and instantly he was a happy man. He stood behind her as she dished up and kissed her cheek.
‘You got some bills in the post I think.’ He said perusing some envelopes he’d left on the table.
‘There was more post?’
‘What do you mean, more?’
‘Nevermind. I got an interview for that job.’ She tried not to sound wary of his reaction but she could see his features setting, his smile a hard line.
‘That’s great.’ He sincerely tried to feel happy about it, he’d learned his lesson taking in the sorry sights in the pub last Saturday. ‘When is it?’
‘Tuesday.’ She replied, relieved that at least he was trying to react well.
‘I won’t be able to come with you sorry babe. It’s too short notice at work.’
‘That’s ok, I’ll drive up early Tuesday morning, then I’m going out for a drink with Sandy late afternoon when I get back, you going to come along?’ She continued to relax, he really didn’t seem angry at all.
‘Yeah sure sounds good.’
She leant over and kissed him, she had a little oil on her lips from tasting the sauce and their lips glided over each other’s. They sat down to eat smiling and chatting easily.
Ricky was out all day and night Saturday with his friends so Christina took the opportunity to prepare for the interview. She spent hours on the internet, making notes on what she had to remember to mention. She tried on numerous outfits, in different combinations and by Sunday night everything was as ready as it could be. Monday was predictably agony at work. It wasn’t Sandy’s day to be in and apart from the odd visit she saw hardly anybody. She was a bag of nerves about the whole thing. What if the weather was really bad and she had trouble driving? What if she couldn’t find the place?