Obsessive complusive but personable – part 1

Dedicated to those allegedly middle-aged women who think that life no longer holds surprises for them.

“How about a gourmet weekend break?”

“Too fattening.”

“Zumba – with personal tuition?”

“Too exhausting.”

“Birdwatching and fell-walking are out too then I suppose?”

Julia looked over the top of her glasses and sighed. “Why do you want to drag me off somewhere anyway? I enjoy the peace and quiet of the weekend. Can’t I just stay home?”

“We both know that you need to get out more and as Rod’s away this weekend it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some time together. You’re my best friend and I don’t see enough of you.”

“Apart from when I come out of my office, when you bring me coffee and when we go out to lunch together. I know we don’t spend much quality time but you could always come and stay with me? We could get some DVDs in, a few bottles of wine, a takeaway. So much cheaper and less hassle than going away to a hotel where none of my creature comforts are available. What about Spike? I can’t take him with me and I can’t really ask either of the kids to take him. He’s too demanding.”

“You and I both know that Mandy will look after Spike for the weekend. She loves him to bits and she spends more time taking him out for walks than you do anyway.”

Julia opened her mouth to protest but was well aware that her colleague Mandy was always willing to take her rescued greyhound Spike for walks and would jump at the chance to look after him for a whole weekend.

Angela wasn’t giving in easily either. She carried on scanning the brochure until she found what seemed to be the ideal solution. “Here it is! A weekend away where you don’t have to leave the hotel, do any exercises, cook or make anything. I’ve been to this place before and the food’s good and definitely not designer portions. Added to which it isn’t far away if you need to come home in a hurry because Spike is pining – which he won’t be.”

“What’s the catch?”

“It’s a bit ‘coals to Newcastle’ for you but there are some really interesting guest speakers and it’s only one night. Starts at ten o’clock on Saturday and finishes at five o’clock on Sunday so you’d still have some peace and quiet either end of the weekend.”

Julia held out her hand, “Let me see?”

Angela handed the brochure over and feigned looking for something very interesting in her in-tray whilst she waited for Julia’s response. Julia peered over the top of her glasses again and smiled wryly. “Definitely ‘coals to Newcastle’, but you’re right, there are some unusual speakers and it isn’t too far to go.”

“I’ll phone them now and see if there’s any room. My treat.”

“Angela! No, I’ll pay. It’s not as if I have an awful lot to spend my wages on nowadays anyway. The kids are self-sufficient and now that Andy’s hooked his rich bimbo he’s stopped coming to me for handouts.”

“Which you should never have given him anyway. You’ve been divorced for seven years now. Andy’s not your responsibility. He’s a grown man who wants it all and expects someone else to pay.”

“He’s also the father of my children and someone who I used to be deeply in love with. Twenty years of marriage doesn’t disappear overnight.”

“I know, but he’s taken advantage of your good nature too many times.”

“And now he’s married to someone else, can take advantage of her good nature if he can ever find it and he’s not my problem anymore. Go on then Ange, book the weekend and we’ll share the costs. Two cars though in case either of us needs to escape.”

“Deal.”

“What time is my next patient?”

“Two-thirty. Mr Dodds. It’s a ninety minute appointment. Is that right?”

“Yes. He takes a long time to open up so we agreed last time that I’d give him an extra thirty minutes. Charge him for an hour though.”

Angela frowned. “You’ll never get rich doing that.”

“Who wants to get rich? The divorce settlement gave me the house, the business and a nest egg and I make enough to live on and pay you. What more do I need? Is there anyone else after Mr Dodds?”

“Yes. Anna Thompson. Just an hour for her and then you’re finished for the day.”

“Good. If you’re going to drag me off for the weekend I’ll need to do a bit of tidying up first. There’s something I want to listen to on the radio tonight as well so I can kill two birds with one stone.”

“I shall be relaxing in front of the TV – Rod’s cooking tonight.”

“I was under the impression that Rod cooked every night.”

“We have takeaway sometimes. He doesn’t have to cook then. Besides, he doesn’t like my cooking.”

“Mmmm. I guess anyone could get tired of beans on toast eventually. Can you bring the files for Mr Dodds and Anna through please? I’ve still got fifteen minutes to refresh my memory.”

“I can give you a potted history – Mr D – depressed and divorced with dandruff, Anna – anxious and angry with attitude. Who needs to read the files?”

”Perhaps you should some time. Mr Dodds went through hell with Mrs Dodds and it’s no wonder he’s depressed with dandruff. Anna has been through enough unhappiness to make a saint angry, and I should remind you about the code of ethics and confidentiality when you talk about our patients like that, Madam!”

“You know that I treat them with kindness and respect and I would never breathe a word about any of them to anyone but you. Promise!”

“Good. I still need those files though.”

Julia returned to her office and after finding the files and taking them into her, Angela went back to her desk and phoned through to the hotel to book what was described as ‘an weekend of alternative experiences’.

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By chiara1421 Posted in Story

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