Chapter 3: Fresh new beginnings -The credit crunch

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

Reads: 102

  Solentville Tales chapter 3 - Fresh new beginnings - The credit crunch

The bright sunshine broke through a tiny crack in Jan's bedroom curtains which had the desired affect of waking her from what seemed an endless sleep.

She glanced at her watch and by her reaction it must have been later than she Imagined.She quickly jumped out of her bed and ran downstairs after putting her flimsy dressing gown on around her warm bare shoulders.

Just then the doorbell rang as she found her favourite furry pink slippers and made her way to the front door only to discover to her surprise that it was Jack awaiting a response.

Jack- Hello love ! Is Tom in?,I need to discuss a little business arrangement with him.I expect you will have heard he's joined ranks with me at the yard in a sleeping capacity,talking of which you don't look as if you got much last night.Have you been shopping?.

Jan- I'm sure I don't know what you mean Jack,shopping no of course I haven't,oh very funny you mean the bags under my eyes ha bloody ha.

No I haven't seen Tom and if you don't mind I need to get ready as I have my own business to attend to so if you don't mind.

Jack-Alright love don't bite my head off,I'm only the bloody messenger,if you see him tell him I was looking for him,right Bill is next on my list of people to visit,see you soon.

Jan- Not if I see you first you won't.

What a bloody cheek she thought as she slammed the door shut as she viewed the amount of cigar smoke which had entered her home during her conversation with Jack.

Now she had just 20 minutes to get ready before her meeting with the boutiques shareholders at "The Merchants House" just off the high street in town which she had hastily arranged with Polly her manageress.

A press officer would be present,this would be big news in the local community if their favourite lady entrepreneur was to go out of business.

She also had other fashion houses in London and Paris,she was about to expand her empire before the recession had started to bite in those cities.

Having signed up 4 new dress designers and offering each of them a long term contract she would have obligations to either pay them off or keep them on the payroll.

With a shortage of funds she was becoming seriously concerned how she would survive in the short term.

Suddenly she realised something which amused her,all the time she had been talking to Jack her dressing gown had become loose exposing her left breast.

She also realised that the higher part of her leg was uncovered too during her conversation with him.

How embarrassing she thought to herself,I wonder if Jack liked a bit of leg in the morning as he will have copped a full view.

The time was now just after midday as she quickly grabbed her car keys and sped off in her Mercedes Benz towards the centre of Southampton.

She would park up at Ocean Village car park and then walk the 20 or so yards to the Merchant's Hall which was a 13th Century listed building.

It had a long history attached to it like the nearby Tudor Buildings,having been used by merchants in the town throughout the various centuries when they landed at the port to sell their products.

It seemed a fitting place to hold the meeting if indeed Jan's business was about to go belly up as she would have to sell her boutiques to the highest bidder.

Luckily her Mum Kate would also be in attendance to offer her moral support,the meeting was scheduled to begin in 5 minutes and Jan was still stuck in traffic around the Western Esplanade which was in the south West of the city centre.

She would have no choice but to inform the chairperson that a delay was inevitable.

Jan- Hello Polly is that you?,it's Jan sorry love but I'm running late,can you start without me?,please apologise to everyone present on my behalf.

I'm afraid it's out of my hands right now as I am in the traffic jam from hell.I have just tuned in to Radio Solent and there are some roadworks ahead so I don't know when I will arrive.

Prolly- Ok I'm just about to put the kettle on before we begin so don't fret Jan,all is well in love and war.

Jan- Yes that's true Polly but I'm not at war just Dire Straits with regards to my business tootle pip for now.

Polly- Roger and out I'm on the case deputy dog is at your service tootles.

The other members of the consortium had been earwigging the conversation and Avril who was Jack's daughter was less than impressed by Jan's non-attendance.
She decided to get up and make an announcement to the effect.
Avril- You know I find this bloody unbelievable that the lady who's company we are all trying to save which I might add we all have a vested interest cannot be bothered to get here on time.

As I am the vice chairwoman of the shareholders I do by call this meeting to begin.With the power invested in  me I also call for the motion of no confidence in our Chair lady and owner.

Please give me a show of hands those who are in agreement or disagreement with this motion.

Polly- Now hang on a minute Avril the woman hasn't even committed a crime or been tried and yet you are acting as the executioner in her absence,I'm not going to let you get away with this.

Avril- It's not your call Polly so keep your beak out,you don't have a vested interest apart from being Jan's Spokeswoman.

Polly - What the hell are you on about?,I have every right ok I don't own more than 5% in terms of the shares but I won't let you get away with bringing her down in this manner.

The two ladies continues to bicker until the main door to the building burst open as the members of the board looked in surprise to discover that Jan had finally made it to the venue.

She was by now observing the people present whom most had very concerned looks upon their faces.

She was shocked to also note that Polly her dear friend had Avril in an arm lock as if she was about to throttle her had she not arrived in the nick of time.

One could hear a pin drop and eventually Jan began to realise that there was a conspiring of silence which had greeted her which was too much to take.

This was too much to take as she became inflamed by the continuous silent treatment she was receiving which gave the game away.

Jan- So it's like this is it? I feel like Lady Godiva or whatever her name was sent to Coventry.
I don't exactly know what is going down here but the silence is deafening.
Polly what's been going on here in my absence?.

Polly- Sit down darling I think Avril had better explain to you what she wants to tell you.

Avril- Jan we thought you weren't coming as you might be aware we have to move on,the business needs to move on and we need a new flag bearer and a new brand to rescue or salvage what we can from this mess.

I'm prepared to buy your 50% of your shares plus the 10% from Tom and then I will have the controlling interest,what do you think of my proposal?.

Jan- I think you've got a bloody cheek,I only saw your father this morning and he seems to have the charm of a rattlesnake but you my dear really take the cake lady.
How long have we known each other Avril?,do you really think I would sell out to you?.

Polly- Now come on ladies let's not fall out about something as petty as a business proposition,I'll make us all a nice cup of tea now what do you say?.

Jan- Yes that's very noble of you Polly but it's not your business that is on the line here.I've put blood,sweat and tears in to my business and I'm not going down without a fight so help me God.

I won't be selling to anyone until all other efforts have been exhausted in this matter,boy do I need a drink.


At this point Jan left the building and made her way to The Red Lion Pub which was on the high street.This building used to be a court house in the Middle Ages where they used to hang people.

It was quite an apt location considering the way Jan was feeling right now and she certainly needed a drink to quell her anger which was in danger of consuming her

She spent the next half an hour sinking a few Gin and Tonics before an unlikely visitor graced her with his presence.It was Tom he looked a little shocked to see his estranged wife sinking to drinking her sorrows away.

Tom- I thought I might find you here,well your mum told me that you had left the meeting in a bit of a state

Jan- That's putting it mildly,they're trying to ruin me Tom,my own friends and business partners.
Do you know how long I have known Avril?,since I was 3 years of age and that's over 40 years ago.

She's trying to undermine me just for her own gratification,I wouldn't be surprised if she is on Ken's payroll.

Tom- I know what you mean now come here and let me give you a hug.

Jan- It's not fair why is it that as soon as one gets one gets their life on track the carpet is immediately pulled from beneath them?

Tom- I know come on let's go for some fresh air and clear our heads,a walk is just what we need.


The two of them walked the short distance towards Mayflower Park and sat by a nearby bench before both of them looked out to sea across Southampton Water.There was a bit of sea fret in the air so the view was a bit murky.

Tom needed to discuss Leo with Jan,he had hoped that the school governors might have reconsidered taking him back to his present school.

Unfortunately his bad behaviour had proved that was not an option and he was still residing at his Gran's although he was still having regular contact with his school mates.

The two of them sat there slumping in to each other before they decided to head back.Tom was eager to sort out his little problem with Jack having not told him about Jan's involvement at the yard.

Jan needed to get the tea on and both parted company on good terms having agreed to meet up the following morning.

Submitted: August 25, 2019

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