2nd August 2008
The typing agency has found me a temporary appointment, three months at a television factory as a secretary. It’s nothing glamourous, but it will supply me with some much needed finances and give me time to think where I go from here. I’ve always been careful with my money, mainly out of necessity, and I do have some savings to call on. Financially, I should be okay for the next three months and if things go well then I’m thinking of taking a risk. I feel as though I need something in my life that will boost my self-esteem and self-image and that something is enquiry agent work. I might look for another opening with an agency or, deep breath, open an agency by myself. I’ve had tentative discussions with Angus about the idea and he indicated that he would be supportive, offer advice and push business opportunities my way. I think he’s still feeling guilty about why I left and is trying to make amends. Starting your own business is a big step and I will need advice from the enterprise sector about what it all entails. I have lined up some appointments with a view to obtaining advice and will see where I go from there. The idea of my own agency excites me, but do I have the business sense and experience to make it a success? The answer is ‘yes’ to the former and ‘no’ to the latter, so it will be a steep learning curve if I do go ahead. I have three months to think, gather information and plan. Then, hopefully with common sense overriding my emotions, I will make a decision on whether or not to go ahead.
5th July 2008
Met Angus this morning and told him of my decision to leave. He begged me to stay, said I’d become an invaluable member of his ‘team’ and that he would offer me a promotion, officially recognizing my sleuthing duties. His words were tempting, but I explained that I thought it was in the best interests of myself, his family, our friendship and his business if I left now. Angus is a sensible man and he saw the logic in my words. Reluctantly, he accepted my resignation and apologized for revealing his feelings about me. I said I’m not the woman for him, which is true, and that he had too much to lose by embarking on an affair. He agreed and we parted as friends. Angus offered to provide a reference and told me I was free to call on him at any time for help and advice. I said I’d keep in touch, and I will. Very depressed tonight. Not sure what to do next.
4th July 2008
Today, I saw Dan in town with another woman. I didn’t recognize her, she was a stranger to me. Dan glanced in my direction then he stared right through me. I think he hates me. I’m tempted to think that he hated me from the start and only married me because he saw me as someone he could manipulate. I think I’ve proved to him over recent months that I will no longer put up with that and, for now at least, he’s decided to leave me alone. I suppose he will always be there, like Banquo’s ghost, haunting me, but my nightmares are a crowded place anyway and I can put up with that. I crossed the road and walked on.
When I arrived at the office I found Angus waiting for me. He looked apprehensive and said that he had something to tell me. I feared the sack, that I’d done something wrong. Then he said ‘I love you’ and apologized. My heart sank. Angus is a decent man, level-headed and engaging in a slightly eccentric way, but he’s married with three children and I can’t be having with any of that. Besides, I’m still wary of men and not ready for a relationship. He’s been flirting with me recently, buying me small gifts – chocolates, flowers – he said these gifts were ‘thank yous’ for my work, but I sensed there was more to them than that. Angus left the office on a work related matter and I was left to think.
My instincts tell me that I’ll have to quit the agency – it wouldn’t be fair on Angus to stay, or myself for that matter. We have developed a good friendship and I don’t want to sour it. I love the agency work though and will be upset to leave. Feel very sad this evening.
2nd June 2008
Angus asked me to do him a favour today, serve a bankruptcy notice – not a pleasant task. However, I agreed and drove to the address on the envelope.
I required a signature for the bankruptcy notice so I steeled myself to walk up the long path of a well appointed four bedroomed house, knock on the door and serve the notice. Only, there was a problem – a ‘beware of the dog’ sign on the gate. Now, I have a silver tongue and I reckon that I can talk my way out of most predicaments, but I do not speak dog, so I was cautious as I approached the gate. My caution gave way to mild panic when I caught sight of the dog itself – a snarling Rottweiler, left free to roam the garden. What to do? I retreated to my car to think.
Thankfully, the owner soon allowed the dog inside the house and, after a pause to gather my courage, I tip-toed up the path and rang the doorbell. The dog barked and I could hear the man growl at the animal. Then silence as he opened the door.
I served the bankruptcy notice and offered a few words of condolence. Big mistake. The man took my words completely the wrong way – he became verbally aggressive, then threatened violence. Although I sympathized with his predicament, I was not going to stand around and take a beating. So I turned my back on him and walked towards the gate. That incensed him further and he ran after me. Shifting into top gear I raced down the path and hurdled the garden wall. It’s a good thing I’m naturally athletic and keep in shape or I’d be nursing another set of bruises tonight. I did learn a valuable lesson though – when serving papers I must keep my emotions to myself; I must get the job done and not take other people’s problems to heart.
28th April 2008
Work is still going well and I’m enjoying the challenge. I feel a bit down this evening though, lonely, I guess. I’d like to find Mr Right, but I’m in no hurry. In fact, I do wonder if I have it in me to ever trust a man again.
I’m aching a bit this evening after the latest session of my self-defence class. The class is going well and I’ve a good grasp of the basics. I don’t want to lose my femininity, but I do want the confidence of knowing that I can defend myself. The instructor even asked me to ease up on one of the other pupils because I was ‘too enthusiastic’. Yikes! Little old me showing too much aggression. I suppose I do have a fair amount of anger trapped inside me, due to the beatings received at the hands of Dan and my mother, but I tend to turn that anger on myself and get annoyed with myself if I do things wrong. I’m aware of the problem and trying to make changes, but it’s two steps forward, one step back most of the time.
Listening to a collection of 1960s classics on my CD player now. I love these songs and I’m sure they’ll brighten my mood. California Dreaming. Ah, well…maybe I’ll get there one day…
25th April 2008
I saw Tina Mahoney, Dan’s lover, this morning. She was walking towards me, on the other side of the road, with her nose spread flat on her face. Her eyes were black and puffy. Instinctively, I stepped to cross the road to sympathize with her, but she just glared at me, lengthened her stride and walked away. I can only assume that Dan had hit her and she blames me for some reason. I felt very guilty as I walked in to work, as though her injuries were all my fault.
At work, everything is going well. I’ve settled into a routine with Angus and the office is running like clockwork. Occasionally, he asks me to do field work, like the task I’ve been carrying out over the past two days. We have a client, the owner of a lingerie store, who suspects that a member of staff is stealing silk knickers. Very saucy! Angus suggested that I should pose as an accountant, checking stock. The owner was convinced that a member of staff was responsible for the thefts and not a customer because knickers were disappearing on a daily basis. That left me with three suspects – a senior member of staff in her mid-sixties, a junior member of staff in her early twenties who was very vain in her appearance and a male member of staff, a teenager learning the ropes. I quickly established that the sixtysomething was too straight-laced to be into silk underwear and that my initial suspect, the twentysomething fashion plate, was very efficient and conscientious. That left the male member, so to speak. I positioned myself at a desk and used my computer screen as a mirror. Sure enough, I noticed that the male member was taking regular bathroom breaks and when he did a pair of knickers would disappear from the stock. I presented my findings to the store owner who called the lad into his office. There, he told the lad to unzip his trousers and, sure enough, his manhood was encased in several pairs of silk knickers. I felt very embarrassed and sorry for him. He was dismissed on the spot, so no cause for celebration, and I do wonder where his fetish will lead him, hopefully not into serious trouble.
14th April 2008
In work today Angus told me that he was making some headway with the live-in adulterer. He suggested that maybe I could lend a hand by calling at the love nest and posing as a market researcher. I asked him if this was strictly legal and he replied, somewhat enigmatically, that it was so long as it didn’t end up in court. So, with my boss’s approval, I faked a market research form on a notepad computer and drove to the love nest. Angus had established that the couple were having an affair, that the man was living with his wife at weekends, then travelling 120 miles to work in the city during the week where he spent his spare time with his lover. But Angus suspected that there was more and it was my task to establish the truth.
I arrived at the love nest with my notebook computer and a sincere smile and asked if I could have five minutes of the lady’s time to ask some research questions. She was about to slam the door on me when two Jehovah’s Witnesses appeared at her gate. Rather than talk with them, she decided to talk with me and I asked some general questions about grocery likes, energy company preferences, favourite television programs, etc. Her answers were fairly standard, though she did drop in the phrase ‘my husband’ from time to time. I asked where her husband worked and noted that his place of employment matched the name Angus had given me. I soon realized that we’d opened a can of worms because her husband was the businessman commuter and we’d uncovered bigamy. I thanked the lady for her time then sat in my car in the shadows. I wondered what excuse the bigamist gave this lady to be free from her at weekends. I also wondered what Angus would make of my discovery. Presumably, this matter would reach the courts and my evidence would be inadmissible. Doubtless, Angus would find a way around that. It’s an example of what Angus told me at the start – when you go digging in the dirt you do discover that there are an awful lot of worms.