The Factory Girls – Episode 15

Dana turned off her machine and took her final pile of briefs over to Helen.“Good work this morning,” her supervisor said.Dana glanced at the production sheet.“Hardly. I’m way down on my average.”“I didn’t mean your sewing.”“Oh?”“Your ideas. They were great, Dana.”“Oh, thanks. Don’t suppose they’ll come to anything.”“Maybe not, but it’s worth a try and you were the only one with the guts to see that.”“Thanks,” Dana managed again and escaped to the locker room feeling elated.She retrieved her bag, checking as she always did that the discreet padlock on the bag was intact, then made for the door.“Fancy coming back to mine for a bit?” Shelley asked behind her.Dana jumped.“Can’t, Shell, sorry. Got to buy a few things for the boys.”“You spoil them.”“Probably, but someone has to.”“Hmm. I could . . . especially your Pat!”Dana grinned.“Be my guest. Just be prepared to talk non-stop cars and footie.”Shelley wrinkled up her nose.“I’ll think about it. At least your lot have jobs.”“There is that. See you later.”Dana waved and sauntered off as casually as she could. She did have a few errands and she took her time in the shops, waiting for the shift to disperse, but eventually she could stretch it out no longer. With a last furtive check, she pushed through the door of the building she’d been aiming for all along the library. Dana came here most days. There was a quiet study area on the second floor, set back into an alcove behind Classic Literature, and she felt safe up there. Her brothers never visited the library and, whilst a few of her mates might occasionally stray into the main area to borrow a film or a magazine, or to use the computers, they never came upstairs. This place had become her haven.She dived in and unlocked her bag to retrieve her accountancy text books. Her next assignment was on tax and she was finding it, well, taxing! She was tired from her restless night, and thoughts about tomorrow’s meeting kept invading her mind, but she forced them away. They could try to save Cardill’s, but deep down she knew this was unlikely to happen. She had to finish this degree, and fast.She bent her head over her notes on self-employment allowances and was soon absorbed, so much so that she didn’t even hear the footsteps coming into the room, nor notice a volume of “Macbeth” being lifted from the shelf at her side until a voice spoke. “Dana?” She looked up, horrified, to see two dark brown eyes peering at her through the gap.“Jonathan!” This was all she needed. “What on earth are you doing here?”He blinked at her snappy tone.“Getting a book out.”“Oh, right.” Dana reminded herself that that was what libraries were for. “Bet it’s a bit dusty,” she managed.He looked at it and grinned.“Not much call for Shakespeare in Deveroe, I take it.”He came into the alcove and she scrabbled her own books into a pile beneath her arms. He looked at her quizzically.“You OK?”“Fine. Just fine, thanks.”“Reading something good?”“Not really.” She tugged her study guides closer in against her chest, but in her haste one slipped and threw itself to the floor.“Here, let me,” he offered.“No, please, I . . .”But she was too late.


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