Community Spirit – Episode 63

AFTER her coffee with Pamela, Jeannie had gone back to her house and e-mailed off her acceptance to the bakery.

She’d then spent time going over her finances and working out how much money she would make and whether she would be earning enough to cover her outgoings.

To her relief, she calculated that, after she had paid back the mortgage arrears, there should be a bit left over each month to spend on herself or Tasha, or maybe save towards a holiday for them both.

Feeling positive about that side of things, she felt anxious about what was going on with Nate.

She knew he’d said he was busy tonight, but maybe if she caught him early they could arrange a time to have a chat tomorrow.

She would nip over to the pub, agree a time with him, and then she could stop worrying.

Jeannie ran a brush through her hair and put on some lip gloss before grabbing a cardigan to go over her jeans and white top.

She paused at the mirror by the front door.

“You’re only going over for two minutes, so you’ll have to do,” she said to her reflection.

As she passed the Goose, Fergus was coming over the green carrying a box of wine.

One of the other waitresses was standing in the alley having her break.

“What’s going on?” Jeannie asked. “Has he just come from the Mucklebury Arms?”

“Yes.” Marie nodded. “He and Debbie had a blazing row because she forgot to order enough wine for the party. There was no time to go into town and get some more, so Fergus said he’d ask if he could borrow some from the Mucklebury Arms.”

Jeannie smiled and carried on over the green, barely able to wait until she could ask Nate what had happened.

The pub looked inviting in the early evening light. The windows were lit with that warm glow that only comes from a welcoming pub, and although it was sure to be a quiet night for the Mucklebury Arms, Jeannie knew Nate would have a smile for everyone.

Jeannie went into the pub, empty apart from a woman behind the bar.

The woman looked up but didn’t smile. Her heavily made-up eyes shone out from an otherwise pretty face as she looked Jeannie over from her head to her toes and back up again.

“Can I help you?” she said.

“Is . . . er, I wondered . . .” Jeannie stammered.


“Where’s Nate?” Jeannie blurted out, then flushed. She hadn’t meant to sound hostile but it came out all wrong.

“He’s not here.”

“Is he coming back?”


Jeannie didn’t know what to say.

“Would you like me to pass a message on to my husband?” the woman asked calmly.

Jeannie felt her jaw drop.

“No, that’s fine,” she said before she fled, feeling the burn of the other woman’s eyes on her back.


Alison Cook