Life With Mabel: Part Fourteen

This is the fourteenth part of a fiction serial, in 769 words.

Her job at Woolworth’s was much more relaxed. She wasn’t going to have to work on Saturdays, as most of the staff were part-time, and that shift was covered. She was one of the few full-time staff there, and now she would get every weekend off. It was so quiet too, compared to where she had worked in London. If anything, she found herself getting a bit bored by mid-afternoon.

But Old Man Adams had been right, they valued her experience in London. The manager had only been there for a couple of years, and he seemed happy to let Mabel do a lot of supervisory roles that Adams would never have dreamed of. She mentioned it to Reg over dinner one night.

“If he keeps getting me to do half his job, I’m gonna ask to be made up to supervisor. Can’t see him saying no, he’s so lazy”.

Once the furniture had arrived and they had the place looking like home, life went on happily enough. Reg was getting home much later, having to ride his motorbike from Cambridge, and with the project being regarded as so important, he was working all day Saturday too. On top of his pay rise, he got overtime pay for Saturdays, so they were doing well financially. Just as well, as the payments for the furniture and the mortgage were a lot more than Mabel had expected. And now Reg was talking about changing the motorbike for a small car. The weather was getting him down, he said.

Winnie was happy to show her around. They went for walks along the river, and all over the small town. By the end of the first month, Mabel was confident that she knew her way around, and was on first-name terms with the local shopkeepers too. Reg had said he would take her into Cambridge one Sunday, but working late every night, and six days a week, he always complained about being too tired on Sundays.

So Winnie went there with her on the bus one Saturday. Mabel loved that trip, looking at all the shops, the old buildings, and the historic university colleges. Winnie brought a picnic lunch in a big bag, and they sat on the grass by the river and ate it.

With Reg not geting home until well after seven most nights, Mabel got used to eating alone, leaving his dinner on a low heat in the oven. Then he told her he would get fish and chips on Friday nights, so she took up Winnie’s invitation to eat with her before he got home. She had been right about them being firm friends. Mabel had come to adore spending time with her, and was impressed by seeing her in her nurse’s uniform, looking so smart.

One Sunday morning, Reg casually mentioned that he was going to look at a car. “They will take the motorbike in part exchange, give me a good price for it. Do you want to come and look at it with me? It’s at a dealer’s near Cambridge”. Mabel knew nothing about cars, other than Dennis’s Humber of course. She shook her head. “No need, Reg. If you want it so much, you will buy it, whatever I say”.

Sure enough, he came home in the car. It was a Ford Prefect with four doors, all shiny black. He was dancing around it like an excited child. Get your bag and keys, Mabel, we’re going for a ride”. He drove down the main road to St Ives, then back along the country lanes. “We can go on holiday in this next year, Mabel love. No need to freeze on the motorbike. I was thinking we could get a caravan on the coast in Norfolk. Hunstanton might be nice”.

As much as she wanted to be happy for him, Mabel had no interest in the car, and didn’t even want to think about how they could afford a holiday, the way Reg was spending money. She didn’t ask how much he had paid for the car, and he didn’t tell her. That suggested to her that he had paid too much for it, and there would be costly monthly payments. When they got home, she knocked on Winnie’s door to show her the car. Winnie winked at her. “Ooh, that’s lovely, Reg. You’ll have to let me come along for a ride out one Sunday. Mabel jumped at that.

“Yes, let’s take Winnie out next week. Me and her can sit in the back like classy ladies”.

Then she turned and winked back at her friend.

23 thoughts on “Life With Mabel: Part Fourteen

  1. (1) Mabel and Winnie sat on the grass by the river and ate it. “I’ll bet we look like a couple of old cows grazing!”
    (2) Overheard:
    Mr. Salinger: “You should go find Mabel after work. Where do you think she’ll be?”
    Mr. Price: “Down by the river. I’ll catch her in the ryegrass.”
    (3) As cars go, a Ford Prefect is not perfect.
    (4) Never ride a motorbike on rainy days and Mondays. You’re better off hangin’ around at home with nothin’ to do but frown.
    (5) Bad citation: “As much as she wanted to be happy for Reg, Mabel had no interest in the car. It just didn’t get her motor running.”
    (6) Riding in the back with Winnie sounds like a win, i.e., an opportunity to get real cozy with each other.
    (7) Overheard:
    Reginald: “This Ford Prefect has a 36-horsepower engine.”
    Mabel: “Thirty-six horses! Do they whinny? If so, I’m interested!”
    (8) Mabel was able to give Winnie a wink.

    Liked by 1 person

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