‘Really, Craig. What did I tell you about my first day then?’
‘Oh, I can’t remember exactly. I’ve been busy myself since then.’
‘Craig, you’re a liar. You didn’t ask me – and don’t start accusing me again of not listening. I listened above all for you to show an interest. Everybody else I’ve spoken to since has wanted to know how I went on. You’re a self-centred bastard and I don’t intend wasting any more of my time on you. You’re dumped.’
As she closed the call she heard him saying, ‘Bitch.’
A meeting in the Park
Jamie was already there when Mel arrived. He was sat with a cup of coffee at the round table for two in front of him. He asked what she’d like to drink, but she said that she’d get her own.
The park was on the Upperton edge of town, so it wasn’t far from where either of them lived and it was a popular meeting place for dog-walkers. The place was a franchise place leased by the town council. Hot food, sandwiches, cakes and ice-creams were available at the self-service counter in addition to both hot and cold drinks. There were tables and seating facilities inside and on a sheltered patio outside. Mel and Jamie sat inside. Even with her puffer jacket, it was too cold outside for comfort.
‘Okay,’ Jamie said, ‘You requested the meeting. What would you like to know?’
‘Let me get straight to the point,’ she said, ‘I’ll quote verbatim something my ex-boyfriend said to me when I told him about the interview and me getting the job.’
She looked at him. Her face gave nothing away.
‘Here goes,’ she said, ‘As I said, this is word-for-word, “‘Well, it’s easier for a girl to succeed at interview. I bet they saw things your way just looking at your tits and your legs.”.’
‘Is that what you’re wondering?’ he asked.
‘I think that you may have noticed this morning, Jamie, that a customer and I were giggling together. She was looking at smartphones – she’d dropped and broken her old one.’
‘And?’ he asked.
‘What gave rise to the giggles was you, looking at me. You had a very obvious erection tenting your trousers. She told me that you obviously thought that you were on a promise for tonight.’
Jamie blushed. He remembered the incident.
‘Christ!’ he said, ‘Well it disappeared bloody quickly. Nothing castrates a bloke faster than seeing two women looking at him and giggling.’
‘This isn’t about you feeling got at, Jamie,’ she said, ‘When I thought about it afterwards, what Craig said came back to me. So, was it my “tits and legs” that got me the job? If it was, I won’t be coming into work tomorrow.’
‘Shit!’ he said, ‘No, it wasn’t. ‘You got the job on merit – pure and simple. I told you on your first day. We’ve never had anyone wanting to work for us before who actually knew one end of a camera from another. You do – in spades. And you have a really nice personality rather than some of the sullen faces that the Job Centre sends us.’
‘Okay, she said, ‘Fair enough, but I had to ask. I’ve noticed men looking at me like that before – but not anyone I’ve ever worked for. However’, she continued, ‘that leads us on to my next question.’
‘Fire away,’ he said.
‘The way you looked at me this morning suggests that you were feeling horny.’
‘It was subconscious,’ he said, ‘I didn’t deliberately set out to see you in a sexual way, but you did – look sexy. I think that they call it the autonomic nervous system reaction – an instinct that bypasses the brain – like feeling you want to punch someone.’
‘You’re quite a caveman, Jamie aren’t you,’ she said, ‘An unconstructed neanderthal beneath those designer chinos.’
‘Oh, God!’ he said, ‘Foot-in-mouth time!’
The photo that I’ve chosen today is the first of the series of nine that I’ll be posting in the next few days.
I shot all but one of the photos in this series on 22 April this year, while I was stood on the pier at Southport, Merseyside waiting for the Sun to set. You wouldn’t believe it from the photos, but it was high tide around the time I was there. Southport beach seem to stretch out forever and seldom seems to come all the way in.
The EXIF data are as follows: Camera used for all the shots was my 36 MP Pentax K-1 full-frame camera paired with a Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 full-frame lens. In every case the ISO was 100. All shots were handheld and used only natural light. I post-processed all the shots in Lightroom.
For this shot the shutter speed was 1/400 secs @ f/8 and 24 mm.