Lisa Grant had intended working for Write Stuff for twelve months, as a stop-gap before returning to London. Three years on and she was still there. She could do the work blindfolded while standing on her head. she needed to get back to her journalistic roots.
At forty she was, by far, the oldest employee in the burgeoning young company, which included her boss, the fresh-faced 29-year-old Ken Lorenzo.
‘Here’s to the new Millennium!’ He had said at a recent staff meeting. ‘And here’s to our company becoming bigger, stronger and more prosperous in the year 2000. She admired his passion and drive; it reminded her of herself at that age.
Given the age gap, she had nothing in common with the people she worked with. Initially, she had made an effort to fit in and build up workplace camaraderie, by going to the gym or jogging after work, but had found it too depressing. After seeing herself in the mirrors at the gym, bouncing up and down next to her young, svelte co-workers, she started making feeble excuses about having to be somewhere else after work. Her social life consisted of drinking a bottle of wine with her oldest friend once a week and somewhere else meant rushing home for a glass of wine with supper on a tray in front of the television
She still tried to make an effort on the fashion front but, tottering around in ridiculously high heels every day, was beginning to take a toll on her ankles.
She often overheard her female colleagues, comparing notes about the sexual conquest they had made over the weekend. She was never invited to join in these tête-à-têtes. Presumably, because they thought that any sex life she might have had would have been a very long time ago.
They were irritatingly right, but it wasn’t that long ago, even if she couldn’t remember the actual date. A flurry of short-lived relationships had come and gone after Jack before Rory totally destroyed her faith in men.
She was the one who never wanted commitment, believing the laissez-faire relationship she had with Rory was what she wanted. She hadn’t expected to fall apart after he went to work one morning and never came back. Sending her an email a week later saying, ‘oh, by the way, I was offered a gig Australia.’
So the excitement of the forthcoming Millennium was everywhere, except in the heart of Lisa Grant. She was resigned to the fact that the New Year would bring more of the same. She expected nothing on the promised wind of change. She had no expectations to exceed, but, in her heart, she knew she needed to break free.