JANUS

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Chapter 5: The Cigarette

At lunchtime, Cass went for a walk to have cigarette as far away as she could get from the office in ten minutes. She did not normally smoke at work. She felt like a sixth former sneaking out of school. She had even made sure she had gum, toothbrush, toothpaste and perfume packed in her bag to get rid of the incriminating stench. She sat down wrapped up in her coat in Finsbury Circus, watching a poor desperate MAMIL receive a sadistic personal training session by an Adonis.

Cass inhaled deeply and exhaled languidly. With every contemplative puff, her desire to push Caroline down the stairs subsided. Cass knew if she did assassinate Caroline, she would be doing the world a favour. Then she remembered that she was being unfair, Toby might miss Caroline.

Cass called Jane on her way back to the office.

“Merry Christmas! Miss me much?” said Cass

“Would you be offended if I said no?” quipped Jane

“No not really. Sorry for calling you at home. Have you had a good Christmas?”

“Yes, lovely now the in laws have left. You?”

“Good. I was slightly concerned by my parent’s functional alcoholism and distressed by my on-the-shelf-ness in comparison with my sister, so pretty normal!”

“Not being rude, but why are you calling me?”

“Caroline is going to sack Becky. She is not going to be here when you get back.”

“Fucking hell,” Jane sighed resignedly. “The girl has only been here two months. She has not done anything that stupid. She is just has to get up to speed. Most people need more than two months.”

“Poor kid. It is going to crush her. All that study and all that debt to just get sacked in your first job. She was probably being paid badly as well. Is she living at home?”

“No, I think she is in a house share in Woodgreen.”

“How is she going to pay the rent? Merry Fucking Christmas from Caroline. I tried to defend Becky. Caroline said that I should understand more about stats by now and that everyone would be more profitable after a good sacking.”

“I hope that her mangy inbred mutt suffocates her in her sleep and eats her face.”

“Cats do that, but I get your point,” said Cass, thankful that she was not the only one with homicidal fantasies about her boss. “Do you think I should give Becky some money?”

“Seriously Cass! You don’t have enough money either.”

“Come on Jane! I do in comparison to her and I don’t have kids like you.”

“Are you going to do this every time Caroline sacks someone? If you are, then you are going to be very very poor.”

“I think I could give her £100.00, maybe £200.00, we get paid in two weeks, don’t we?”

“Why are you feeling guilty for that bitch’s actions? You are a loveable idiot but still an idiot.”

“Love you too” smiled Cass

“Go back to work and don’t bother me until 5 January. I am hibernating.”

“Laters Mama Bear!” Cass rang off.

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