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Forty 2 Days

Forty 2 Days

Description : Forty 2 Days
I edge up to the counter, my hands clammy, my stomach in a tight knot. The woman manning it smiles efficiently. She is wearing the bank’s uniform; a striped shirt, a navy blazer and matching skirt. Her black name-tag has Susan Bradley printed in white.

‘Thank you for waiting.’ Her voice is iceberg lettuce crisp. ‘What can I help you with today?’

I run my hands down the skirt of my gray suit. ‘I have an appointment to see an officer about a loan. The name is Lana Bloom.’

She consults herputer screen. ‘Ah! Miss Bloom.’ Her eyes move upwards. Meet mine. No smile there. Just avid curiosity. ‘Take a seat, and I’ll let someone know you are here.’

‘Thank you.’ I walk towards the nest of gray-blue chairs she indicates. I perch on the edge of one and watch her.

‘She’s here,’ she announces into the phone, and returns it to its cradle. Then she does an odd thing—without turning her face in my direction, sneaks a look at me from the corners of her eyes, catches me watching, and looks away quickly, almost guiltily.

I feel the knot in my stomach grow tighter. Something is wrong. Perhaps the manager has looked at my business plan and decided against the loan. It shouldn’t be too surprising. I have no experience and no collateral and, as my mother used to say, banks will only lend you an umbrella when it is not raining outside.

I clutch my bag in sweat-slicked hands, take a deep breath and very firmly urge myself to be calm. There is always Plan B—Billie and I will simply start small and build the business brick by brick. Our progress will be very slow, but we will survive, and perhaps if we work extra hard, one day we will thrive. With or without their money we will get by. My chin goes up a notch.