11 Ladysmile Lane – Episode 43

“Well, what do you think?” Mel asked Alex, who was still gazing round the refurbished “unit” as the property agents called it.

She valued his opinion, which was why she’d asked him to accompany her. Her regard for him wasn’t restricted just to his role as an accountant – she was full of admiration for the way, after his wife’s death, he had given up his high-flying job to devote himself to looking after Amy. An excellent job he had made of that, too – everyone said so.

“It isn’t as near the motorway connections as the garage is,” Alex replied after a few moments, “but your work’s all local, really, so you don’t need that. And you’ve got storage here, parking . . . yes, it’s good. The price looks good to me. You can afford it, Mel, so I’d go for it!”

Mel, sitting on a window-sill because the space was completely empty, ran a finger along the smooth, newly painted white frame, her face deeply thoughtful.

“There’s no harm in sleeping on it if you’re not sure,” he added reassuringly.

“No, I am sure. I’ve got to find somewhere. The people Des is renting the garage to are already starting to move in. They’ve agreed to let me stay in my little place at the back until I sort myself out – I think Des made that a condition, so they’d no option. But they don’t want me there.”

She got to her feet.

“I’ve already spoken to Ruth about her firm doing the legal stuff for me, and I’ll confirm to the agent now.” She gave a little half-smile. “It’s crazy, but I’m finding it frightening, Alex. I can’t believe something won’t go wrong. It’s happened to me before – you feel on top of the world, everything’s rosy, and then it all comes crashing down, if you know what I mean.”

“Yes,” Alex said quietly. “I know. But I’m sure this will be fine.”

Mel touched his arm.

“Of course you know.”

The agent, who’d come along with them but had gone outside to leave them alone a while, now returned.

“Yes, I want to proceed,” Mel told her with a determined nod. “I’ll just give my friend a lift back because we came in my van, then I’ll come down to your office to sort out the paperwork.”

“Don’t worry, Mel,” Alex said. “I’ll walk back; it’ll do me good.”

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.