The Factory Girls – Episode 22

Almost instantly Dana’s head appeared over the top of the bookcase and he cringed.“Jonathan! Are you OK?”“Fine. I’m fine, thank you.”“Finished ‘Macbeth’ already?”“What? No. No, of course not. I just, you know, fancied a novel instead.” He waved the book and her eyebrows raised. He looked down. “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. “Not this one, though. I was looking for ‘Sons And Lovers’. That is, ‘The Rainbow’. Yes I was looking for ‘The Rainbow’.”He shoved Lady Chatterley hastily back on to the shelf. There was a clatter and then a screech of pain from Dana, and Jonathan realised that he’d managed to push “War And Peace” off the far side of the shelf and right on to her toes.“Oh, no, I’m so sorry!”He leaped into the alcove to snatch it away from Dana, and when he rose he found himself suddenly rather close to her. She stared at him but did not pull back and Jonathan felt a ridiculous urge to take her fierce little face into his hands and kiss her. That would be such a clich, though, and besides, she might hit him. Jonathan was willing to bet that, small as she was, Dana could pack quite a punch.“Perhaps I could, em, buy you a coffee to make up?”“Coffee?”“A beer, then? Would you like a beer, or a wine . . . or a gin or something?”“In a pub here in Deveroe? With you?”Was that so strange? Jonathan took a step or two back. “You don’t want to be seen out with me!”“It’s not that, Jonathan. It’s just, Deveroe’s a funny place. Very gossipy, you know. It would be all over town by tomorrow.”“What, that two of the Save Our Factory committee had a drink together?”“They wouldn’t see it like that. They’d think . . .”She flushed and dropped her face down behind her lovely hair. She still hadn’t moved away and Jonathan had no idea what to do next. He wasn’t used to unreadable girls like Dana. At university he’d met girls he’d dated at bars or clubs and on the whole they’d made the first move or, at least, made it very clear that a move from him would be welcome. With Dana it was far more complicated, but something about her really got to him. He took a deep breath.“What about a walk?”“A walk? It’s nearly dark!”“No, this Saturday. I could drive us somewhere nice in the hills. It’s so beautiful around here.”“I suppose it is.”“Do you not walk?”“Not a lot, no.”“Why not try it, then? We could find a country pub, too, one where no-one will see us.”“A walk,” she echoed and suddenly Jonathan wondered what on earth he was doing here, making an idiot of himself.“Forget it.” He put “War And Peace” down on the table and turned away. “Stupid idea. It doesn’t matter.”He just wanted to get away now. Maybe Frank was right and he’d be better off in Manchester or down in the Midlands. Anywhere, really. Anywhere but here, being laughed at by Dana Tims.“Jonathan, wait. Please!”She caught at his hand and his stupid heart started up its crazy dance routine instantly. She tugged and he turned back to face her. “That would be nice.”“Really?”“Really. I could meet you at the garage on the ring road. Elevenish?”“Cool. I hope it doesn’t rain.”“I hope it does. I like country pubs!” Her lovely lips curled into a cheeky smile and Jonathan felt another urge to grab her and kiss her. But she was pulling away and the temptation passed.“I’d better get on,” she said, sitting down.“Yes, me, too.”“Lady Chatterley awaits?”“No. These.” He held aloft the local history books. “For the Facebook page.”“Cool,” she said but her head was once more bent over her textbooks.He made his way down the stairs, walking on air.“Must be a good book,” the librarian said.Jonathan tried to wipe the goofy smile from his face but it was no use.“Great,” he agreed. “And do you have any local maps? I need to find somewhere really special. For a walk.”


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