The Factory Girls – Episode 16

Jonathan bent down and retrieved the hefty workbook. He placed it on the table before her.“‘Advanced Accountancy’?”Dana flushed.“Yeah. What of it?”“So nothing. I’m just interested. I’m rubbish at maths.”“You can’t be you’re a graduate!”“A history graduate. The only numbers I can do are dates.”“Oh.”“Do you really understand it all?”Dana was thrown by the genuine admiration in his voice.“I guess so. I mean, my marks are OK.”“Marks?”Drat.“I’m doing a course with the Open University,” she admitted. “Good for you.”“Thanks. You won’t tell anyone, will you?”“Why not?” Jonathan sat down. “So you’re doing this in secret, Dana. Why?”“You wouldn’t understand.”It was tight in the alcove and Jonathan suddenly seemed very close. His leg was barely a centimetre from her own and she had to fight a crazy impulse to touch it. He didn’t speak for a while and the air seemed to fill with the sound of their breathing, then suddenly he nodded.“My parents don’t approve of me working here.”Dana looked up, surprised, and her eyes met his. Her heart jolted stupidly.“Really?”“Really. They want me to be a lawyer or an accountant or something.” He gestured to her workbook with a crooked grin and Dana felt herself grinning back. “They think there’s no future in manufacturing.”“Maybe they’re right, judging by recent events.”He sighed.“Maybe, but then again, if a whole town is prepared to fight for it, maybe not.”He shifted and now his leg did touch hers. She saw a flush creep into his cheeks but for once felt no urge to tease him for it, especially as she was painfully aware of a similar colour in her own.“So you see,” he went on, “I do understand about trying to achieve things others might not get. And I won’t tell anyone, I promise. But, for what it’s worth, I think what you’re doing is great.”Dana felt tears threaten. Honestly! What was happening to her here? It had to be all the closure stuff making her feel so . . . so girlie.“Thank you,” she murmured, adding, “not that it’s much help. If I lose my job I can’t afford to study, anyway.”“Then . . .” Jonathan stood up . . . “let’s do our best to stop that happening. Look.”He opened up the old satchel slung over his shoulder and pulled out a bright poster. Save Our Factory, it blared in scarlet lettering.“That’s fantastic, Jonathan!”He shrugged.“It was your idea. Here, take a few to put up in the pubs tonight.”“Right. Thanks.”Dana took the proffered pile and stared at them. Should she ask him to come with her?“I’d better get going, then,” he said, though he made no move to go.“Yes,” Dana agreed.“See you.”“Yes. Er, Jonathan . . .”“Yes?”“Oh, nothing. Have a good night.”He nodded and turned.“You, too, Dana.”Then he was gone, leaving her to bury her head in her books.“I’m not falling for him,” she told herself crossly, but somehow it didn’t ring true. Shaking her head, she focused on the posters. Save Our Factory. Yes, that was the important thing here. Bring on the meeting!


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