General Fiction posted January 1, 2018

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The story unfolds...

Cora. Part 2

by Maria Jose Garcia

London in the 60's. Cora is dating a coworker who insists they should keep their relationship secret.

Part 2.
Monday at the office, Cora felt forlorn. She wouldn't go out with John till the weekend and they would only cross stilted hellos in the office halls.

'How was your weekend, Cora?'

Cora lifted her eyes and saw Joe, the new errand boy.

'It was good, I went to Windsor.'

'Who with?'

'Friends... How about you?'

'Nothing much. Just walked around London. I love the city.'

Cora knew that Joe had a girlfriend, but for some reason she suspected he had a crush on her. She didn't like him that way, but felt comfortable in his presence. She also thought he was cute, not handsome, but cute. He wore glasses, had long sideburns and had a thin gangly body.

'Well, I'd better get going. See you around,' Joe said.

Cora looked at his retiring back and then back at the text she was typing.

That evening, on her way back home on the underground, she thought of Joe. She wondered what his girlfriend was like, she had heard some ghastly rumors at the office. Some people said she was fat and uneducated. Some said Joe only stayed with her because her brothers had threatened him. She wondered if it was true.

When she got home, her sister, Theresa, was in the living room. Sitting on the sofa with her was her boyfriend Michael.

'Hi there! How are you?'

'Just watching some telly.'

Michael was a great guy. A bit too loud maybe, but totally unpretentious. He was a tailor by trade and loved his job. However, he didn't make much money and was thinking of becoming a taxi driver.

'Do you want to sit with us?'

'No, thanks. I have some sewing to do. I'm making myself a new dress. I think I'll go up to my room.'

'Do you want me to help you?' Michael asked.

'No, I'm okay, but thanks all the same.'

Cora was about to leave the room when she realized her parents weren't home.

'Where are Mum and Dad?'

'They've gone out to walk Kira.'

Kira was their little Westie. Cora always said she was a little sloth, because she spent most of her time sleeping. She was a most loving little dog and the whole family was crazy about her.

Once in her room, Cora walked towards the mirror. She didn't like what she saw. She was too thin. Well, that was not surprising considering she was never hungry. The truth was she had never felt well since she was eighteen. She had visited several doctors at her mother's insistence, but none had found out what was wrong with her.

Cora wished she had the energy to study a university degree in the evenings, but she was too tired. At school, she used to be the first of the class and her teachers had great hopes for her.

She walked towards the bed and lay down on top of the quilt, even though she knew her mother didn't like it.

Aloud she said, 'Is this what my life is going to be like? Just a typist for ever?'

She had had great dreams and now she felt constricted by her circumstances. She thought of calling John and talking to him, that would make her feel better. But John had told her never to call his home. Something to do with his old mother being a nervous wreck and very sensitive to the sound of the phone ringing. If Cora hadn't been so very much in love, she would have found this utterly stupid.

Cora and Theresa had been brought up never to be idle, so after a while she got up and opened her sewing kit. The dress she was making was pink and had a wide skirt. Even though she admired the new short ones, her mother didn't approve, so she was still stuck in the fifties fashion-wise.


This story is loosely based on something that happened to my mum when she was a young woman.
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© Copyright 2018. Maria Jose Garcia All rights reserved.
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