A Year In France – Episode 23

Supplied © A Year In France illustration by Mandy Dixon

Travelling into work on the bus on Monday morning, Maddy relished the thought that her daily commute would soon be a thing of the past. Her home office was already taking shape in the corner of her bedroom.

She’d work on the kitchen table while she set everything up and worked her notice with Kirsty, but she was determined to create a professional space for her business.

Any meetings with clients would have to take place over coffee or lunch in a convenient restaurant.

Thinking about Kirsty reminded her of the resignation letter in its creamy white envelope currently in her laptop bag.

She’d gone over and over the little speech she intended to say as she handed the letter to Kirsty. Would Kirsty be bothered she was leaving?

They’d been friends before Maddy had joined the agency, but eight years of working side by side had changed the dynamics of their relationship.

And, as Kirsty put it, book buying wasn’t what it was. She’d even gone on to point out last year that few of the authors Maddy handled had been bestsellers.

Remembering Kirsty’s remark about book buying, Maddy sighed. Was she doing the right thing going solo in the current market?

Maybe she should just stay put or look for a job in another agency. Even with a loan from Julia things would be tight for the first year.

Both Kirsty and Leah were in the office when Maddy arrived.

“Good morning,” she said, walking past them to her office. Placing the laptop on her desk, she took out the envelope and walked back to them.

“Kirsty, I need to give you this. It’s a month’s notice,” she said as Kirsty took it. “You know I’ve always wanted to run my own  agency, so I’ve decided to go for it.”

She saw the shock register on Kirsty’s face before she pulled herself together and shrugged.

“OK. I accept.” Turning on her heel, Kirsty walked away with the unopened letter.

Maddy made her way to her own office, unsure how she felt about Kirsty’s reaction. Had she expected her to protest? To wish her luck? No, but the complete indifference shown to her hurt a lot. The next month was going to be difficult.

She sat down at her desk, opened the laptop and began to read her e-mails. Fifteen minutes later, Kirsty appeared in front of her.

“I’ve been thinking. I don’t want you here for a month. I think it’s better if you go today.”

Before Maddy could reply, Kirsty continued.

“I’ll tell accounts to pay you to the end of the month and any holiday money you’re owed.”

“What about notifying my clients?”

“We’ll do that – and don’t think you can take any of them with you. Which reminds me. That time-slip novel? Hand the details over to Leah. She can handle that one from now on.”

Then Kirsty left.

Maddy sat for a few moments, stunned, before slowly closing her laptop and gathering her things.

She knew there had never been a realistic chance of her signing the time-slip author for her new agency, but it hurt that Leah was going to be dealing with it.

The only good thing to come out of being told to leave immediately was the fact she was due some holiday pay. It could go in the bank and help establish her new business.

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.