11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 20

“Can I ask a question before we start?” Amy asked, sitting down opposite Georgia in her office.


The girl had arrived for her first French lesson with plenty of time to spare.

“That boy who’s clearing up the rubbish at the back – who is he?”

“Ewan.” Georgia hoped she was succeeding in hiding the smile that had formed on her face. “He recently started working for Mel’s company, just part-time. So I’ve employed him temporarily to tidy up what is going to be our fabulous new garden and outside dining area.”

“I think I’ve seen him before,” Amy remarked.

“Yes, he’s been at it a couple of days now.”

“No, not just here. One morning down by the canal.”

“Could be. He lives down that way.”

“So, is he–”

Georgia halted her, firmly but with a smile.

“You’re here to improve your language skills, my girl. I’m happy to continue talking about Ewan, as long as we do so in French!”

Amy laughed.

“I think I’m maybe better sticking with text-book stuff.”

“Right, let’s get on with it, then.”

The lesson went well. Georgia was pleased with her new pupil.

“My dad gave me the money to pay you. I’ve got it here somewhere,” Amy said, rummaging in her bulging, butterfly-patterned backpack.

“No, no.” Georgia stopped her. “I don’t want paid. Your dad and mum have helped me hugely, getting the rent records straight and choosing a new insurance company, and they won’t take a penny from me. Hey, are you all right?” Georgia said as Amy’s young face changed. She took the girl’s hand. “Amy, love, what’s wrong?”

“You said my dad and mum. But my mum’s dead, Georgia.”

For a moment, Georgia was struck dumb. Then she saw what had happened. Amy had said that her full name was Amy Ann, the middle name being after her mum.

When the woman who came in to help Alex part-time was introduced to Georgia as “Ann”, she’d assumed she was Amy’s mum; Alex’s wife. In fact, she was Alex’s assistant, who just happened to share the same, very popular name.

“I am so sorry, Amy.” Georgia shook her head.

“It’s all right.” Amy reached out and touched Georgia’s arm. “She died a long time ago now. That’s why my dad left his high-flying career – to look after me.” She paused a moment. “I sometimes feel guilty, though, in case he regrets it.”

“Amy, I’m sure nothing is more important to him than you.”

As she spoke, Georgia realised how true it was. The bond between father and daughter was clear to see.

Amy nodded.

“Yeah, you’re right, I think he is happy, even though we’re not rich. We do fine. There is one area where he’s definitely lacking, though.” She paused. “Georgia, could I please ask you a special favour?”

She was about to agree when there was a knock on her door.

“Georgia, I’m sorry to bother you,” came Ewan’s excited voice, “but could I speak to you for a moment, please?”

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.