Chapter 1: Solentville

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 772


Solentville Tales Chapter 1

It was early one morning when Jack was awoken from his slumber reaching out for his alarm clock,which in this day and age insisted on playing a different song for every morning which it was set on the previous evening.
Listening to "Baby Love" by Diana Ross was really too much for anyone's ears at 8 am.

He decided to get up and make himself decent before the long trip in to Southampton where he would meet up with Tom who was his partner at the local boatyard.

Jack was a stocky sort of bloke in his mid fifties growing old gracefully with the charm of a piranha.Tom however was a decade or so younger and had a young family to support,he had just recently been made redundant at "Southern Aviation" and had gone in to business with Jack as a partner in the boatyard.

Jack's business of course was building boats and lots of them.When he wasn't building boats he would prefer to spend his time gallivanting around the local pubs and clubs around Southampton choosing to spend his time boozing with his old pal Roy who worked at the boatyard.

Both men were born and bred locally and hadn't lived outside their home community so grew up there from boy to man.

It was just after 10 am when Jack finally sorted himself out and was now ready to leave his cottage where he lived and depart for the city.It would take him 20 minutes by car travelling due west from the centre of Northam and over the bridge in to Ocean village.He had made an appointment to meet Tom over a coffee with a view to discussing the financial shortcomings of their financial business,namely the yard.

Scene 1 - The arrival -

Jack- Hi Tom how are you?,have you had breakfast yet?

Tom - No Jack I have been way too busy for any snap this morning.Now what did you call me out at this time of the morning for?.

Jack- It's like this Tom we've got a slight problem with our cash flow at the yard and what with there being a recession on I'm afraid the orders have dried up.Have you any suggestions how we could drum up some new business?.

Tom-Oh right up the shit creek without a paddle hey?,I don't know Jack maybe we could hire a P/A or get someone in the boat marketing business to take a look,it's a new one on me.
I'm used to designing planes not boats but I guess that's all changed now that I have come on board with you.

Jack- what have you got planned for the rest of the day Tom?,I'm off to Lyndhurst this afternoon for a spot of lunch with a chap called Charles.He's a business magnet who apparently wants to sponsor "The Isle of Wight cup" or should that be "The Needles cup".
Anyway it's really a chance for me to find out if I can find out whether he might know some local contacts in the local community who require a boat building,what do you think of the idea?.

Tom-Fine Jack it looks like you've got it covered and I will be tied up meeting my estranged wife Jan at the solicitors.We will be discussing a divorce settlement with her lawyer at midday or so I am lead to believe so I had better look sharp.

Both men smiled at each other then went their separate ways,it was fast approaching noon when Tom had just left the high street and he was now heading towards Bernhard Street and the offices of the local solicitor outside Above Bar Street.

He was beginning to worry about the kind of settlement that his wife might be seeking not to mention his financial plight.Would she be looking to take him for every penny? Or would she see sense as both of them were responsible for the finances of their two children Lynn and Leo.

He started to feel the butterflies as he walked in to the reception area of the solicitors before introducing himself to the receptionist.

He was immediately escorted to a room where he met up with his estranged wife,her own solicitor and his own brief.They all sat in silence before Jan spoke to her brief and asked Tom a favour.

The meeting scene -

Jan- Right let's make this as brief as possible,no pun intended we all know why we are here to serve the best interests of Tom and myself making the divorce as painless as is possible for Tom and myself.I'm not going to ask for unreasonable terms.I just want what I deserve namely the house,half of the business and total custody of my children,I do hope we can be amenable on this agreement.

Tom- Reasonable !!!! You call those terms reasonable?,now come off it Jan the house should be split down the middle and as for the boatyard what right have you got to make a claim there?.My parents are currently paying off the interest on the loan and you damn well know that.I only put in 20 thousand of my redundancy money so no can do.

Jan's Solicitor- Come come can we have some common ground to share you two.Let's break for lunch and try to resolve these issues after,I'm sure we can reach a compromise.

Tom- No lunch can go hang I want this thing settled here and now,I'm not leaving until that bitch gets what's coming to her which is sweet f/a,do you get my drift?.

Jan's Solicitor- Really sir you could act with a little more respect and have some self control,I must request that my client refrain from replying to these insults and we adjourn immediately.

Jan- No I am in agreement with Tom even though he was a little off with his Insulting behaviour,let's sort this out today otherwise we cannot move on with our lives.

The meeting went on for 2 hours before eventually both sides agreed to call it a day and re-arrange the finer points of the deal at a later date.

In principal Tom had relented on his wish to keep hold of the business interests,Jan would have a 10 % stake in the yard with or without Jack's permission and she would get the house on condition that she didn't sell it within a 10 year period.The children would inherit the house or the monies accrued from the sale after her death.

After the meeting ended Jan offered Tom a lift back to the village of Hamble where they both lived,however he turned her down flat insisting that he would rather get drunk than spend a single second in her company.

That came as a shock as he was teetotal and was now enjoying life on the wagon

All he had to do now was to break the unwelcome news to his business partner Jack to inform him of this new arrangement.

The thought of his estranged wife joining the ranks of the yard as a business partner might be akin to inviting a vampire to take charge of running the local blood donor centre.

He braced himself for a torrid time and knew Jack's feelings about Jan,they had never got on and Jack had told her that she aught to stick to the fashion business and keep out of his affairs.

Meanwhile Jan had arrived back at the family home where she bumped in to a surprise visitor,it was Ken her former boss and old flame,well on and off perhaps.

They went back many years when Jan had walked out on Tom and her family.She had spent the odd few nights picking up the pieces of her broken life with her charming friend and soulmate Ken.

Of course our Ken never did anything for anyone but himself as he had an ulterior motive and liked to please himself.

- The living room scene- 

Ken- Jan what a pleasant surprise I just popped around to see if I could lend Leo a hand with his school project with him being an aspiring speed boat champion and me marketing motor boats.
I thought perhaps maybe we could kill two birds with one stone to coin a phrase.

Jan- Really Ken you will have to do better than that love !,I can read you like a book,I'm sure you really came round here to find out how I and Tom got on at the solicitors admit it?.

Ken- Ok you got me Sussed babe and don't roll your eyes at me like that,are you free of the rat at last?.

Jan- Ken that's no way to talk about my soon to be Ex husband,yes I think we can start mapping out the next chapter of our lives without dragging one another down,how was your day?.

Ken-Fine you know me I'm always on the go,am meeting several possible business partners who are interested in buying a stake in a new marina project in swaythling.
It's a nice piece of real estate and I hear from a recent survey that there might be a spot of oil under the peat.

Jan- So our Ken might be going up in the world and perhaps might fancy himself as a rich oil Barron on the south coast ha ha ha.

Ken- You may scoff dear but I know deal when I see one and I might be able to offer you some financial help to expand your boutiques empire.How are you fixed financially?.

Jan- I would rather not talk shop if that is ok with you Ken?,I have a prior dinner engagement with Sir John at half past eight this evening.I need to do some research on the internet about expanding my business potential as he put it.

I think he feels I need to be more diverse,there might be a recession going on in the UK but it hasn't impacted on my fashion outlets thus far.
That reminds me,Kim - Lee who is my fashion designer is coming over soon to discuss some of her designs.

Ken- Is that a slight hint that you want me out of the way Jan?,ok I can take a hint we'll talk about your new business plan later perhaps over lunch at the yacht club tomorrow take care bye.


There was complete silence in the Devereux household for the first time since after breakfast,Jan was feeling tired and dizzy with her stressful day that she had endured.She decided to lay down on her bed and turned her digital radio on,it was her favourite local station playing contemporary hits.

There was one song which began to pull at her heartstrings namely a song by Level 42 entitled "It's Over",she began to weep uncontrollably.

She immediately got up and ran out of the bedroom and poured herself a brandy looking at a wedding photo all the time before lashing out with an emotional cry.

"What a bloody waste of time,25 years and for what?,she threw the crystal brandy glass towards the wall where hung most of the family photos.

A few minutes later her guest arrived it was Kim - Lee,she was not really feeling up to this meeting and would have to grit her teeth and get through it the best she could.

Just then at the same time as her guest arrived her phone rang,it was Sir John's secretary,he had requested a postponement of their meeting.

His secretary had requested a new date for their dinner business meeting,as he would be tied up in the city until tomorrow and couldn't get back to Southampton before then.

Jan was kind of relieved in a way to learn of this and then began to spend quality time with her client Kim-Lee before informing her to meet up at her business office tomorrow.
Luckily Kim-Lee was sympathetic and left Jan on good terms.

Submitted: August 23, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Buffershaker. All rights reserved.


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