The Factory Girls – Episode 38

Lunch, served in a gleaming caf boasting 20 types of coffee and a parade of cakes, came all too soon for Carol. Becky was indeed eager to learn, and quick, too. She asked all sorts of questions about Cardill’s, and Carol found herself thinking back to when she’d been a girl herself, fresh into the factory and flushed with love.“I trimmed up my own wedding gown on one of these machines, you know,” she confided as the day wore on and Becky began to churn out perfect seams time and again.“I bet it was beautiful!”“It was. Well, Eddie said so, anyway.”“Your husband?”“My husband, yes. He’s dead now,” she went to add, but stopped herself. He wasn’t, really, not to her. “I love him as much now as I did, then,” she said instead. Becky smiled.“That’s lovely. Oh, is that your boss?”Carol looked up to see Frank coming over, Jonathan in tow. She looked at her watch gone five o’clock already! The day had flown past.“Going well?” Frank asked nervously.“Very,” Carol had to admit. “Becky’s been brilliant.”“No,” Becky corrected firmly, “Carol’s been brilliant. When are you coming again?”Carol blinked. She could feel Frank staring at her, Jonathan, too.“I’ll be very busy next week,” she hedged, “with the factory shutting down, but . . .” “But the week after that?” Frank hazarded.Carol swallowed.“I don’t see why not.” She looked up at Jonathan as Frank, satisfied, moved off.“What did you think?”Jonathan looked down at his fiery little boss.“I’d forgotten quite how impressive it is,” he admitted, glancing across to where Frank was signing them all out. “If I’m honest, I liked it more than I was expecting to.”“Me, too. Confusing, isn’t it?”It was that, all right. Jonathan had found the big factory genuinely exciting. He’d been fascinated by Moonbright’s forward-thinking processes and ideas. He’d liked big, welcoming Anne and had hit it off straight away with Raj Sidani, the IT manager, a witty, clever guy with all sorts of plans. His mind was buzzing with possibilities and he longed to talk to Dana about them, but he was sure she’d take it as criticism of Cardill’s. “Why don’t you try talking to her?”He jumped.“How did you know what I was thinking?”Carol grinned.“It’s my job, lad. Running a factory is all about reading people.”“Even this factory?” “Even this one. Ah, here comes Frank. Quiet, now I don’t want to admit to him that I liked the place. He deserves to suffer more yet.”She winked and Jonathan laughed.“You two must know each other well.”“We go way back. I knew Frank even before I knew Eddie, which is why I was so cross at him for keeping all this a secret. No matter. Come on, let’s get you to your brother’s.”Jonathan nodded grimly. He’d made the mistake of telling Matt he was coming to Manchester, and before he knew it he’d committed himself to staying over. Soon afterwards Frank dropped him off outside the big apartment block and drove away, Carol beside him waving cheerily.


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