Afterwards, when the last customer had left the shop, Tony asked her for her reactions. She told him that she’d learned a lot, and that if she were to present any of those evenings herself, she’d need to do a lot of preparation to ensure that she was up-to-speed on things like settings. She asked Tony if he could show her how to prepare the PowerPoint screens that Jamie had used and how to use the laptop to control the presentation. Tony said that he’d be pleased to do that himself, since he couldn’t spare both her and Jamie off the shopfloor at the same time.
He arranged a time with her for the Tuesday of the following week.
One step forward and one step back
Within a just a few weeks after she’d started her employment at the shop, Mel was settling in nicely. She had quickly become a trusted and valued part of the business. She had now completely filled Lucy’s former role in the shop and had become as indispensable as any employee could ever be expected to be.
May had arrived in Codmanton accompanied by sunshine. In her dad’s garden at home, the wisteria and clematis were in full bloom and in the Town Square and along the High Street hanging baskets of dazzling colour announced that the town was open to tourists.
Mel had seen Craig only once since the incident in the shop. He’d waited for her near the bus stop and had pulled her by her arm into a ginnel – a narrow alleyway between shops. He’d demanded that she apologise for humiliating him in the shop. By now though, Mel was prepared. She remained outwardly cool as she told him to let go of her arm. She informed him that her friend in the police was aware of his increasingly coercive control and had told Mel to keep a diary of any other attempts to physically coerce her. She let him know that she’d be telling her brother Jack about his behaviour and asked Craig if he really wanted Jack as an enemy.
Craig released her and told her that she’d be sorry. She said that she’d add that threat to her report to Stacy.
He’d turned away at that and told her to, ‘Fuck off and die’.
She’d heard nothing from him since. For a couple of weeks afterwards she’d been concerned on her way home in case he might waylay her and make good – or, rather, bad – his threat.
Stacy – again
Mel had phoned Stacy as soon as she arrived home the night of Craig’s approach to her. Stacy wouldn’t be going on duty for another two hours or so. Mel asked if she could call round for advice and Mel agreed immediately. She’d picked up on the fear in her friend’s voice.
Mel was still a bit shaken by what had happened and the way that Craig had spoken to her. She told Stacy how it had started in the shop and how Craig had appeared out of nowhere.
Stacy promised that she and a friendly male officer would have a quiet word with Craig – nothing official, just some friendly advice about what could happen if he continued to make a nuisance of himself.
Mel seemed relieved – even if only to have got it off her chest.
The photo that I’ve chosen today is the penultimate one of this series of nine that I’ll be posting in the next few days. There won’t be much changed between them – the idea was to capture the change in the light during the period that the Sun was setting.
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. Today’s image is one of the last that I took and I was standing on the pier again when I took it. The Sun is in the final stages of it’s descent and the clouds are still gaining underlit colour. A few people in the distance are still making their way to the end of the pier to see the Sun set.
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 1/25 secs @ f/16 and 35 mm.