Your next sneaky little peek...

As a cheer went up, Beth moved, not wanting to be seen. She wasn’t going to spoil a surprise they seemed to have gone to great effort to organise. She headed towards the toilets.
A divorce party. Apparently, it was a legitimate thing now. Women, and some men, in the articles Beth had read, organised a celebration of them being completely shit at keeping a relationship together. It was a gathering to congratulate the divorcee on successfully and, sometimes strategically, negotiating the rocky road of solicitors and animosity and fighting over who kept the box set of Peaky Blinders… and coming out the other side not too tear-stained and with a core of inner strength that would serve the singleton well as they sought out new relationship paths.
Beth looked at herself in the mirror above the sink. A mirror she had looked in a lot over the years. This reflective glass had shown her triumphant reflection when she’d won the Davis contract – her very first after she’d joined the firm. It had also shown her a very pissed face when she’d overindulged on company cocktails while wooing the Miltons, and got concussion from walloping her head on the same basin she was leaning on now. And this very mirror had almost mocked her when she had stood in front of it and sobbed at the end of her marriage. Years of loyal service and she had been discarded. For the next best thing. The woman she had trained to do her job when she’d been given a promotion.
‘Oh, hello, Beth. I didn’t see you there.’
And there she was. The woman who had replaced her in so many ways, strutting out of one of the cubicles and sashaying towards the adjacent sink. Kendra.
‘Kendra,’ Beth answered. There was no love lost, but she had to maintain a degree of professionalism while she was still working here. And she was still working here. Still juggling her options. Plus, if she left the bathroom now, Heidi wouldn’t be finished with her office and she’d have to make small talk with someone by the water cooler. Lately, since the separation, it always seemed to be Pablo from accounts. Her knowledge on his brother’s apprenticeship at a recruitment agency really did know no bounds.
‘It’s all official then,’ Kendra said, simultaneously washing her hands, sucking a breath mint and pouting into the mirror. ‘Your divorce.’
Beth nodded. ‘Yes, all official and absolute.’ She even had the documents to prove it should anyone ask. Was Kendra asking? Maybe she wanted a copy for herself. Perhaps Beth could duplicate an A3-sized version and laminate it for her. Maybe Kendra would frame it and hang it over the marble fireplace in Beth’s ex-living room. She ran the tap, for something to do, and to try and compose herself. This wasn’t really Kendra’s fault. Kendra was simply a file in the divorce cabinet. And, with everything being finalised, all Kendra really should be to Beth was a slightly irritating colleague. Because if someone like Kendra could end her marriage, then the union had obviously been rocking on unstable ground already. And, if she was truthful, it had been. For most of its life span. Possibly since Charles had stopped indulging her love for Midsomer Murders and insisted they watched something high-brow… in Norwegian.

 

Enjoyed this extract? Check out One Last Greek Summer, published on June 6th!

 

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