A Jolly Good Show – Episode 30


AN hour later Kate was walking down the familiar street of terraced houses. Everything was the same, but seemed smaller. The house looked the same, the gate still creaked as she opened it, and the knocker made the same dull, echoing thump-thump.

There was no answer. Again she knocked and waited. Oh, well, she thought, I tried, and she turned away. She had some time to kill so she decided to take the short walk into town, retracing the route she had followed so many times in the past until she found herself standing outside Woolworths.

Had she really worked there? It seemed as though that had been another girl, a different person. She went in. It wasn’t very busy and everything seemed so familiar, the goods, sounds and smells, yet different.

Perhaps it was her who was different.

Was her old counter still in the same place? It was. A young girl, no more than fifteen, was standing in her spot, a bored expression on her face. Kate looked round for any familiar face and she found one.

Maggie waved frantically as Kate hurried over. Dear Maggie, still presiding over pots and pans and crockery with a cheerful smile on her pretty face.

“Kate! I can’t believe it. You look smashing. What are you doing here? It’s my break in five minutes. Have a cup of tea with me.”

“That would be lovely, Maggie. It’s so nice to see you.”

So a few minutes later Kate was in the familiar staff tea room as she and Maggie tried to ask and answer as many questions as possible in 15 minutes.

Maggie was engaged to Colin. She proudly displayed her engagement ring. They would marry next year. He was doing very well. And what about Kate? Had she a young man?

Kate explained that she had just said goodbye to one young man, but he was a friend, just a dear friend.

“To tell the truth, Maggie, moving around from theatre to theatre every couple of weeks makes it rather difficult to meet young men.”

Maggie shook her head.

“It doesn’t matter. I believe that lovers are destined to meet no matter what. It’s exciting, really. Somewhere, Kate, there’s a man out there, and you and he are moving towards each other, day by day, until one day your paths will cross.”

Kate laughed.

“And what then?”

“Then, Kate Flynn, the rest is up to you.”

An electric bell gave a short, sharp ring.

“I’ll have to go,” Maggie said. “It was lovely to see you, Kate.”

Kate left the shop and walked towards the station with a happy smile.

She had felt depressed at having to say goodbye to Johnny, but she realised that she had made the right decision. She had escaped from Men’s Socks and Ladies’ Shoes to become an established member of the Jolly Good Company.

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