11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 38

Georgia was the last to leave Number 11. She was meeting her friend Carly for a coffee and catch-up, and it wasn’t worth going home first.

She passed some time considering the sketch Amy had done of the dream dress that she’d promised the girl she would make for her.

Then, finally leaving the office, she realised she hadn’t done anything about the To Let sign. Deciding she had time to do it – it wasn’t a big job – she went back for the stick-on numbers she’d bought, returned a few minutes later and started on the task.

As she worked, she thought, as she often did, what a lovely old building it was. Its neighbours, also largely commercial premises, had never been as striking to start with.

Now that many of them had been modernised – and not very sympathetically – Number 11 really was the jewel of the road, she reckoned.

“Still, people aren’t exactly queuing up to take space here, for all its beautiful original features,” she said to herself as she readjusted a figure 7 that had gone on not quite straight.

* * * *

She hoped the phone number would help. But she was aware that Ladysmile Lane was in a part of town that was now very quiet, even a bit neglected-looking, following the closure of the mills along the canal. It was no longer a prime site.

Establishing that the 7 was now straight enough, she was just finishing off when she became aware of music close behind her.

Turning, she saw that the music was coming from a sleek and, she imagined, very expensive sports car. It was halted at some temporary traffic lights just outside Number 11, and the man driving it seemed to be looking at her with interest.

Pushing her hair, which was blowing about in a sudden gust of wind, out of her eyes, she returned his gaze.

Did she know him? She didn’t think so. Nor had she even seen him around. She would have remembered him, she was sure.

He smiled and she smiled back, feeling mildly flattered. Then the lights changed, he zoomed off and Georgia went back into the office to dispose of the litter from the stick-on numbers.

She had barely closed the door behind her when her mobile phone rang. No caller’s name came up on the screen, so she knew it wasn’t anyone in the phone’s memory.

Was it someone enquiring about the offices already, she wondered excitedly. She hoped so – what a difference that could make!

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.