Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Surprise

I know people like to judge me, I’m the stuck up cow who never joins in with the summer fayres, Christmas fetes or whatever other nonsense these yummy mummies spend their time organising. What these people, my neighbours, fail to realise is that I simply don’t have the time. Ever since I became Head of Human Resources at one of the top three hospitals in the U.K. my focus has to be work.

They can look down their noses at me all they want but I’ve achieved everything I ever set out to accomplish. It’s not been easy and my personal life has had to take a back seat but luckily my husband understands. You can’t break into the top three without some sacrifices. John and I met at uni and have been together ever since. To be honest, neither of us had much experience and sex has never played a major role in our marriage. We connect on a deeper level than that; the intimacy we have is far more powerful than sex.

My sister says it’s not healthy to live in each other’s pockets but what does she know? She’s got a divorce and a string of failed relationships behind her. We never had much in common even when we were kids; she was the apple of both my parents’ eye, pretty, sociable and not clever enough to make anyone feel threatened. I, on the other hand, came out of the womb with the drive to succeed. Boyfriends, pop stars and inane TV programmes were of no use to me.

The last time I saw my sister she decided to issue a few ‘home truths’. It was quite out of the blue and I don’t know what brought it on but she called me a ‘hard-faced cow’ and said I had no friends or real family to speak of. She’s never understood me so I don’t know why I felt so disappointed. I haven’t got time for friends and the nature of my job means I have to be hard. I’ve had to let people go who I’ve known for years and any attachments would make that difficult.

Anyway that was about six months ago and since then everything’s changed. So much so I’m tempted to email my sister and tell her how wrong she was. It all started with Olga – obviously with my busy schedule I have to have staff and Olga had been with us for years. I suppose she was what you might call a housekeeper; she did the cleaning, shopping and generally kept things ticking over. At least she did until she became a grandmother and her daughter couldn’t afford to pay for child care. I mean why people have children when they can’t afford to pay for them I’ll never know. It was an enormous inconvenience but there was no dissuading Olga against becoming an unpaid nanny.

As it turned out the whole thing couldn’t have worked out better as I found Tess and she is quite literally an angel. Despite all my training and instincts warning me not to get involved with an employee, Tess and I have become the best of friends. Even John adores her and he’s not a social creature by nature. Somehow it’s as if she’s opened all of the windows and let the sunshine into our lives. She even moved in with us after some sort of misunderstanding with her flatmate and now I can’t imagine life without her.

In fact John and I have been talking a lot lately about something so incredible it hardly seems possible. It was actually John’s idea, which is unusual because he normally leaves that kind of thing to me. However he’s so fond of Tess she must have inspired him to think outside the box. We’ve really never met anyone quite like her before, so full of life and adventure. We’ve become a sort of family. For the first time ever I look forward to coming home from work, wondering what John and Tess are doing. I’ve even left work at the same time as everyone else on a couple of occasions and we’ve watched TV together with pizza ordered in from the local takeaway.

John’s idea then feels like the next step. You see we never wanted children and, now that Tess has shown us the possibilities, it’s too late. My child bearing days are over. I feel silly just saying it but a surrogate could be the answer and who better than Tess? When she came to us it was because she’d run out of money travelling around the USA and most of Europe. She’s a free spirit and why should a lack of funds clip her wings? It’s the perfect solution, we get what we want and she gets her freedom.

Obviously we will have to work out the fine details and we’ve not really broached it with her yet. John is convinced she’ll agree and they are so close I’m sure he’s right. That’s why I’ve taken a few hours personal time and I’m going to surprise them and put our plan to Tess. I can’t leave this kind of thing to John; he’s not got much initiative which is why I’m surprised he came up with this idea in the first place. I can’t wait to see their faces when I arrive home early. An afternoon off is quite unheard of. 


  1. Uh oh!! I feel trouble ahead for this career woman. Great story E, thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Thanks for reading G, I'm trying to keep my hand in with the hope of picking up the writing in the school hols :D xx

  2. Oops, someone’s in for a surprise! Nice one, E :-) x

  3. Love to be a fly on the wall when she gets home!

  4. Ooops, sounds like he might have already been thinking inside the box rather than outside of it! Great story, EL - as always your writing style moves the plot forward at an exciting pace that is just perfect for the story theme :) Keep posting - I love reading these xxx

  5. Thanks Sal and I think you could be right about that box :D :D xxx

  6. Meant to leave a comment before but somehow missed writing one. I hope Tess does get sent 'somewhere' When's your next book out? xxx