Chapter 1, part 3.

The evening came and went and soon the days merged and a week was almost done. As Saturday morning arrived he gathered together the car tax form that had arrived in the post a few days before, his car insurance and ‘log book’ and headed off to the post office to tax his car. Some years before he had begun the habit of changing his car in the New Year, and now every January was either the excitement of new wheels, or the drudgery of the car tax renewal at the post office. As he stood in the inevitably long queue he saw the auburn haired woman again, without her child once more as she had been in the supermarket a few days before. He could not help but follow her with his eyes as she wandered around the store. She stopped and browsed through the cheap end-of-line bin, then moved on and looked through the children’s comics and magazines, before selecting one of the comic style history explained magazines aimed at children. More than once he had to avert his eyes as it seemed she would be about to look directly towards him and make eye contact.

The phone trilled disturbing her as she checked her stocks of oils and lotions. She leant across the desk and picked the receiver up, the cord so tightly wound that it stretched open to less than its usual length, causing her to lean forward to hear.

“Yes, hello?”

“Oh hello Ms Markham, sorry to be phoning you at the weekend, but I wanted to try and catch you. I was wondering if you could fit me in later on this coming week. A morning would be better if possible.”

“Let me see, what did you have in mind; is a particular area you want me to concentrate on, or is to be the full body?”

“Time permitting, the full, if that is possible?”

“I can do a full on Monday, getting to you at about ten thirty, if that is okay with you?”

“Yes that’s perfect actually.”

“Right then, I’ll put you in the book and see you around ten thirty. Can I just confirm the name and the address?” She took the details, already knowing the name and address, but there was no room for mistake in her profession. Clients mostly were booked through word of mouth, and getting clients confused and turning up at the wrong address at the wrong time did not bring repeat customers or their friends. The small details, as in her work, were what were important. The diary for Monday morning was now full. The wholesalers at eight thirty for an hour, quickly back to the cottage to change into more appropriate attire, and then on to her customer. Flicking through the next few pages there were unfortunately a few too many gaps in the diary for her liking, but on the other hand it was more full than empty. Taking that as a positive, she got back to her stock take – she really would not have time to browse as she walked around the wholesaler on Monday now, and needed to ensure she got exactly what was needed.