Georgia and her friend Thalia are having a girly chat after Georgia has gone back to work part-time having given up her career to be a stay-at-home mum. (Part of Chapter 2 — Broken Pieces of Tomorrow) — Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to read this :)
Georgia stared out beyond the kitchen window; the sky a muted, lead grey, the sun daring to take a peek from behind the low blanket of cloudy blurs and swirls. The clouds had been suspended there since day break, since getting up. Hardly summer weather at all, Georgia thought. She pulled her chunky cable-knit Hollister cardigan closer around her feeling frumpy, a shiver ran through her. The back door had been left wide open after Thalia’s lazy tabby cat had exited the warmth of the kitchen to wander round the garden at Thalia’s insistence; a slice of cold air intruded on the cosy warm atmosphere. Georgia leaned over pushing the door to with a shove of her hand, but it didn’t quite catch and remained ajar.
‘How’s work going then, hun?’ asked Thalia looking down at her immaculately manicured nails.
‘Good thanks honey.’
‘You still enjoying it?’
‘I am…still learning a lot but I’ve learnt a lot too, babe. I’m content there. The school’s a wonderful place. The grounds are just so national park like.’
‘Ah, how lovely to work in surroundings like that,’ said Thalia.
‘The other day the Head Gardener caught me walking up to the main building, which resembles a full-size model of Hogwarts in the middle of a Harry Potter film set by the way…just in case I haven’t mentioned that before.’
‘Yes, you have hun, like a hundred times,’ Thalia said as she rolled her light brown eyes in an exaggerated manner before breaking into a smile.
‘Ha ha. Anyway he nattered on, bless him, about his beautifully maintained deep herbaceous beds, bla, bla, bla and flowering shrubbery and rhododendron clumps that needed dead-heading, bla, bla, bla and how the reddish-bronze foliage was coming through, bla, bla, bla. I thought I was never going to get away when luckily another of the gardeners came over and I wandered off leaving them engrossed in their horticultural chit-chat,’ said Georgia.
‘How funny, but at least you’re enjoying yourself, hun.’
‘I am babe,’ Georgia said, ‘and it gives me a bit more freedom. Financial independence. Keeps me sane even though I hadn’t realised, having not worked for so long how much I needed something. It’s woken up my brain.’
‘Well, you’ve been home a long time,’ said Thalia.
‘Yeah it has. Since having Andoni. And I had to put up with sarcastic comments from my mother-in-law about how good Greek mums stayed at home and cared for their children. And Nicolas, of course, agreed with her.’
‘Oh, yeah I got that too from my bethera. But I was a lot younger than you. I was twenty-one when I had Sofia and twenty-three when I popped out Andreas.’
‘Well, being at home hasn’t been all bad has it? To be honest I’ve enjoyed it but the time was right for me to go back. The boys are getting older now. Can’t believe they’re already eight, five and nearly four.’
‘I know what you mean hun, time doesn’t stop still. I miss working but you know there’s no way Tony would ever let me go back to hairdressing,’ Thalia said, stretching her long slim leg out towards the door and pushing it shut with her foot.
‘He’s got used to you being at home.’
‘And he likes to know where I am. He calls whenever he wants. It assures him to know I’m home.’
‘And how d’you feel?’
‘I’m used to it, I s’pose. I don’t think about it much…too busy with the kids.’
‘Well, to be honest, babe, Nico wasn’t too pleased when I first told him but hey, I got the job. It was out of his hands once I’d accepted. And, he’s enjoying the extra money coming in. It takes the burden off him a bit.’
‘And the job gives me a new focus and drive. It’s re-ignited my ambitious side which I’ve had tucked away since giving up my career and I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent with the boys, but it was time to find some time for me, babe. A new purpose.’
‘Do you think you’ll stay there long, then?’ asked Thalia.
‘Who knows? The work opportunities are endless. It’s great for now, fits in well with life. But I’d like to think that my degree and all that studying haven’t gone to waste. After all, if it wasn’t for my mum persuading my dad to let me go to university in the first place, I probably would’ve ended up a secretary somewhere. Dad thought me going to university would be a waste of money. Well you know the story.’
‘Yeah I remember you telling me when we first met,’ said Thalia.
‘You know, being a good Greek Cypriot girl he planned for me to get married, have children and look after my husband. End of.’
‘Your dad doesn’t seem like that though,’ said Thalia.
‘He’s not now. He’s proud of me although he’s never said it to me. But he always smiles when mum calls me her clever girl.’
‘I bet he does. At least you got your chance. Look where hairdressing got me… straight to work in my parent’s hair salon. The rest is history.’
‘You’re still young though, babe. You can still do something else if you want to,’ said Georgia.
‘Maybe, one day.’
‘Of course you can.’
‘You’re lucky. You can escape the house, even for a few hours,’ said Thalia.
‘You a bit fed up, babe?’ asked Georgia.
‘No hun. I’m fine. It’s this damn headache. I can’t shift it. It’s been squeezing the sides of my head all day,’ said Thalia.
‘Liam had a bad head yesterday too, must be the change in the weather.’
‘And how’s the gorgeous Liam? Have you got any pics?’ said Thalia, rubbing her temples with her two forefingers in little circular motions as she squinted from the pain.
‘No, of course I haven’t. He’s great though. I showed him my marketing ideas for developing the Music Department and, you know, increasing its profile across the Borough. He loved it.’
‘Of course he loved it. He loves you.’
‘Don’t go there, babe. He’s just a nice guy. He’s my boss. He has to be nice,’ said Georgia.
‘You are so naïve sometimes Georgi.’
‘No I’m not. Why?’
‘Because it sounds to me like he wants to be around you all the time.’
‘It’s not like that at all. All the staff are in and out all the time. It’s a busy office. Stop it. You’re going to make me self-conscious,’ said Georgia, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment, but deep down she wondered whether Thalia could be right about him. But Thalia was right about one thing. She felt attractive working there and the job had certainly boosted her confidence. She thought about Liam…she did go a little bit giddy around him. He was a robust, well-spoken ex-army man, in his early thirties, she guessed, who also headed up the Territorial Army trips for the school.
‘We’ll see,’ said Thalia.
‘Stop it. You crazy girl.’ Georgia smiled, her words caught in a sigh as she twisted a curl around her finger.