11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 34

Back at Number 11, Georgia was looking for Ewan.

“I saw him here earlier,” Eloise told her when they met in the kitchen, “but then he went off somewhere with Harrison. I must say . . .” she nodded vigorously “. . . that Ewan’s doing a great job with our garden area. Do you think there would be a lot of interest in an outdoor meditation class?”

“Maybe not just yet,” Georgia cautioned. After all, the space was meant to be for them all to use. She could just imagine Eloise banning conversation, or even movement, while her classes were in progress!

“There’s still work to be done,” she added tactfully. “But you’re right, he’s got the bit round the door looking lovely. Did he say if he was coming back today?”

“I saw him, but I didn’t speak to him. Is it very important?”

Georgia shook her head.

“No. Just that sign I’ve put up outside, saying there are offices to let and to apply within. It’s an old sign my grandad had, but really it should have a phone number on it as well. I bought some of those stick-on numbers to add mine. But I can sort it out myself.”

“Yes, there’s a fair bit of empty space here at present. The top office that Mr Smith, or whatever his real name was, did a moonlight flit from. That one down from me, too. And, of course, Jason’s now as well.” Eloise paused. “Has he told you yet that he’s leaving us?”

Georgia nodded sadly.

“He came to see me earlier,” she replied.

The young man had decided he was never going to be able to make a living from his love of old books. She was genuinely sorry to see him go, and not just because his departure would mean a reduction in her rental income from Number 11.

On the contrary, she’d offered Jason a reduced-rent period in which to try to improve his situation. But he had said no, he was paid up till the month-end and then he’d be off.

Benjamin wandered across to join them. As always, he reminded Georgia of some sort of wizard with his long, grey hair and beard.

“It’s a shame,” he agreed with them about Jason, “and today’s his birthday, too.”

“I’ll get him a cake,” Georgia said immediately.

The kindly website designer raised his hand.

“I’ve already got that sorted,” he said. “Leave it to me.”

There was a noise at the door. No-one turned immediately, thinking it would just be someone from one of the other offices.

But . . .

“Hello,” Georgia said, her eyes widening with surprise as the new arrival entered. “What are you doing here?”

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.