11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 16

Georgia wished she was anywhere else but here. She’d already known the agents who’d been looking after Number 11 before she’d taken over the running of it herself hadn’t done a good job.

But this!

They’d let the insurance policy expire and here she was, with the office of possibly her most awkward tenant flooded!

Still holding the cancellation notice, she looked up from it at the little group standing round her.

Alex, the accountant in the back office, and his wife, Ann – their expressions were quite kind.

The private investigator, Harrison, looked sympathetic.

But they were nice, reasonable people, and after all it wasn’t their space that had been affected.

Taking a deep breath, she turned to Brett.

“Make me a list of the damage to your equipment, and obviously I’ll pay for it,” she began. Then she paused as she saw, not the fury she’d expected, but sympathy in his eyes.

“It’s OK.” Brett leaned forward and patted her shoulder. “I was referring just to the ceiling when I said I had a lot of damage. I’ve got my own insurance for my cameras, though none has been damaged anyway.” He beamed. “Eloise and I managed to get my stuff out on to the landing before the worst came crashing down!”

“And doesn’t my back know it!” Eloise rubbed her lower spine.

“Put one of your magic potions on it, or sing one of your chants to it,” Brett advised, smiling affectionately at her.

Georgia’s puzzlement must have shown on her face, because Brett then turned back to her.

“We may argue, Georgia,” he said, “but when the chips are down we’re all here for each other at Ladysmile Lane. We look after each other.”

As though to back up Brett’s words, Alex then promptly said he’d be happy to look through the shambolic files that she’d managed to retrieve from the property agents.

“If nothing else, accountants are good at sorting out paperwork.”

“I know a solicitor.” Harrison was right behind Alex with his offer of help. “Her name’s Ruth and she’s excellent. I’ll speak to her about how to bring a claim for negligence against the agents.”

“Please do,” Georgia replied to Harrison, “but let me speak to my grandfather first. He went to those particular agents because it was an old friend of his who started the firm. I’ll pop round and see him tonight.”

She took from Eloise a cup of the tea she’d made for them all.

“Camomile,” Eloise explained when Harrison queried its pale colour. “To soothe everyone’s frayed nerves.”

“Thank you,” Georgia said as she took a sip. Then, touched by the way everyone had rallied round her and aware of tears in her eyes, she blurted out, “Thank you all very, very much!”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.