James Brown’s voice belted from the radio, but Rita did not feel good. She avoided the mirror as much as possible as she removed her hairnet and curlers trying to humanise herself before work.
Frank stretched out in the bed behind her.
‘Wish I hadn’t drunk all that martini last night. Not sure I’m up to facing Mrs Uppity this morning.’
‘Pop next door and ring them, tell them you’re sick and get back in here with me.’
‘Can’t say I’m not tempted.’ Rita smiled through the mirror.
‘Told you, you should have come to McIver’s with me. No Saturday’s, finish at 4 on Friday’s. Better than that pouncy shop of yours.’
Rita sat up straight on the dressing table stool shaking and fingering her hair into place.
‘I’m first sales now. Next in line for buyer when there’s a vacancy Mr Thornton told me yesterday. Buying this place is costing us a pretty penny and the discount I get did help a lot with getting stuff.’
Frank pushed himself into a sitting position, arms folded struggling to keep the grin off his face.
‘You just want to swan about telling people what to do.’
‘I want a career Frank not some dead-end job’
Rita applied her powder and lipstick.
‘Hey, I’m gonna be foreman ‘fore the years out.’
‘Yeah, but women don’t get anywhere in factories, it’s the men that call the shots.’
Frank got out of bed and stood behind his wife,
‘And your pouncy shops different?’ he choked on the cloud of hairspray.
‘Mrs Slater’s store manager.’
Rita dabbed her neck and wrists with perfume.
‘And that’s what you want is it, store manager?’
He snaked his arms round Rita and kissed her neck.
‘Whether I do or not I won’t be if I don’t get to work.’
She wriggled in his arms leaning into him.
‘And that has to be today, does it?’ Frank continued kissing Rita’s neck.
‘Yes, it does. Get off me.’ She tugged at his arms.
‘One condition.’ He said into her neck.
‘Ok, what is it?’ She rolled her eyes.
‘Come to bed without them rollers tonight.’