One Summer In France – Episode 12

Half an hour later, when her French had been severely tested by the superior-sounding woman on the other end of the phone, Libby picked up the reservations book again. The entry for the Rally Tea leapt out at her.

Remembering what Agnes had said about the food required, Libby began to make a list of things she’d need to buy. She hadn’t yet done a supermarket shop to stock her store cupboard, so the usual basics would have to be bought, too. She and Chloe would go later in the week. In the meantime she wanted to take a proper look at the gîte and decide what needed doing.

She’d just pushed the gîte door open when Chloe joined her.

“Mum, can I talk to you?”

Libby glanced at her.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. It’s just that . . .” Chloe fiddled with her hair, a sure sign she was nervous. “Before we came out here I heard about a part-time job that would be absolutely perfect for me, and the day before we left I had an interview.”

Libby’s heart sank.

“You’ve got it? You’re leaving?”

“I haven’t heard yet, but it means I’d be leaving you on your own earlier than planned if I do get it, which is unlikely anyway. I just thought I’d better warn you.”

“What’s the job?”

“Intern on a London magazine. The experience would look good on my CV when I finish college.”

“A lot of people will be after that,” Libby said. “Where were you planning on living if you get the job? Your student accommodation won’t be available until the new term.”

“I was hoping that Auntie Helen would give me bed and board.” Chloe glanced at her mother. “I feel so guilty even thinking about leaving you.”

Libby held up her hand.

“Stop it, Chloe. You have no reason to feel guilty about anything. This is my new life, not yours. Yours is college, hopefully followed by a career in journalism. Of course I want you here with me for as long as possible, but we always knew you were going back to the UK in September.” Which she’d secretly been dreading, but she wasn’t about to tell Chloe that.

Chloe hugged her.

“Thanks, Mum. Fancy a cuppa? I’ll put the kettle on.”

“I’ll just lock up here,” Libby said as Chloe left. Despite her insisting to Chloe that this attempt to make a new life in France was hers, she’d been looking forward to sharing the first few months with Chloe. Still, there was no guarantee that Chloe would get the job.

Guiltily, Libby pushed the thought away. It was wrong to hope Chloe wouldn’t get the internship for the purely selfish reason that she didn’t feel ready to cope with the auberge without having her daughter around.


Margaret Scott

Margaret is a sub-editor within the Production Team on the "Friend". Her main job is to work on the stories and make sure the magazine leaves us in its best possible guise. When not doing that, however, she either has her head buried in the old “Friend” volumes or is out and about giving talks or going on Warner trips (fab!). She hates cheese.