I had a senior moment and scheduled the final part of Just an Odd Job Girl a day early….so hope you don’t mind a double dose…
Just an Odd Job Girl was a novel that I wrote in 2001 and is loosely based on the many jobs I enjoyed between the ages of 14 and 28. It is a work of fiction and thankfully my personal life was not quite so chaotic as Imogen’s.. She narrates her own story and I hope you enjoy the last two chapters this weekend.
Previously Imogen connects with Peter again and he persuades her that he is a changed man asks her to marry him…
The Final Chapter – A New Life.
I arrived punctually for my appointment with Andrew, and was shown straight in by Elizabeth. She gave me a great boost by complimenting me on my hair and clothes and I was visibly preening as I entered Andrew’s office. I found him with another man in deep conversation, which came to an abrupt halt as I entered.
‘Imogen, good to see you again and may I say how wonderful you are looking.’
You may, I thought smugly, carefully putting the cost of the transformation to the back of my mind.
‘I would like to introduce you to a very good friend of mine. Jack Doyle, meet Imogen Smythe.’
I wasn’t sure if I was interrupting something, but Andrew invited me to sit down.
‘Well Imogen, after we spoke the other day, I passed your C.V. on to Jack. He runs a counselling service for young men and women who are having problems finding jobs – or keeping them – and is looking for an assistant for both the office and ‘after training’ to help with the interviewing. I thought that, with all your varied work experience, and being a mother as well, you could be of great benefit to Jack’s organisation.’
I couldn’t believe it. There was I thinking that my work track record indicated a fly-by-night approach to earning a living, and it was now being turned into an asset. I turned to Jack who smiled encouragingly at me.
He then began to tell me about his organisation, and its aims, and how they needed someone who was efficient, flexible and adaptable to keep him and two other counsellors in order. The pay was not marvellous and I would need to do a training course one day a week for the next six months to enable me to assist in the interviews. But, if I was interested, he was happy to take Andrew’s recommendation and offer me the position. Would I be interested? Of course I would, I was thrilled and accepted delightedly.
‘I think that calls for a celebration.’ Andrew got up and shook my hand.
‘Let’s all go up to Pings in the high-street for some Sake and crispy duck.’
Oh good! My favourite. I happily left the office between Jack and Andrew and over some grilled dumplings and crispy duck, I regaled them with some of the highlights of my reminiscences. I haven’t laughed as much for a long time and as we parted company with Jack on the pavement outside the restaurant, I knew that there were some great times ahead.
I was right. Six months later found me fully trained, and an official member of Jack’s team. I was also going out with Andrew, who had rung me the week I started work and asked me out for dinner on the Friday. We began seeing each other two or three times a week, going to the theatre, dinner and the movies. After a couple of weeks he came to dinner one Friday night and didn’t leave until Sunday. It was lovely, and I felt young and sexy, and desired.
We are getting married next month in a small ceremony, with just my children and Jack. We have booked our honeymoon hotel in Killbilly! I found out that Patrick is still running the place, and was absolutely thrilled that I was coming to stay.
Finally, the icing on the cake. One Friday night, just as I was getting into bed I received a frantic call from Peter.
‘Imogen, please, you have to come over, we are at the end of our tether, the baby won’t stop crying, the doctor has said that there is nothing he can do. You were so good with the children, please we are desperate.
‘How could I refuse? I dressed got in my car and drove down familiar roads until I reached my old home. The gates swung open, and as I made my way up the drive, the front door was flung open. There was my ex husband and the ‘fast tracker’ looking dishevelled, worn and rather grubby. She was awkwardly holding a squalling baby, as it squirmed in her arms. Peter grabbed me gratefully, and rescuing the child from its mother’s arms, he thrust it at me.
The baby looked up at me tearfully as I gently rocked it back and forth. I smiled down at him and saw a likeness to my children. The tears stopped and he gurgled up at me, smiling and chortling. Peter and the fast tracker stared at one another and then at the baby and me. I looked up to see Peter eyeing me from top to toe and I was delighted that despite having thrown everything on in a hurry I still looked pretty good. Was that a hint of regret that I saw on his face, I did hope so? Oh sweet revenge!
I left them an hour later with my mother’s recipe for teething babies and some advice to Peter on where to find a good nanny. I think outside help was the kindest thing for the baby, and I think Peter realised it would be best for the health of his new marriage too.
I drove home, thinking about Andrew, the wedding and my children, realising just how great life can be – certainly not too bad for just an odd job girl
One of the reviews for the book on Goodreads.
Just an Odd Girl Job by Sally Georgina Cronin is a delightful book. Imogen at 50 and after a 25 year marriage is replaced by a younger model, what she calls a Fast Tracker. Depression follows and is nurtured by an abundance of food and an ever expanding waist line until one day Imogen decided to take her life back. After 25 years of absence in the job market, she’s unsure of her qualification. At the request of a temporary job agency she list the job of her youth.
The interview at the agency is a new beginning for her. With a lot of humor she retells her experience as a young, entrepreneurial Imogen and the variety of sometimes odd jobs she mastered.
Cronin writes the character of Imogen with humor. The book is a quick read. It shows that self esteem can be recaptured even if it was put on hold for 25 years.
If you would like to browse my other Ebooks.. you can find their reviews https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin
Thanks for dropping in and as always your feedback is very welcome. Sally.