by Julian Baker
She couldn’t condone the way most of her friends treated their cleaners, merely leaving instructions with the money, sat in an envelope on the table. Making sure they were out shopping or having a beauty treatment before the domestic arrived.
Instead she always waited in, made them a cup of coffee, had a chat, before disappearing.
Last Monday it had been raining, the weather always a good topic for conversing in broken English. Their talk lasting a little longer than usual as she waited for the downpour to abate.
“My country very nice, like here, but not wet, very sunny”.
A safe topic.
“Yes, you would like. Very nice. No blacks or asians”.
Taken aback she made her excuses about the rain waiting for no man and immediately fled the house, rather than pursuing this new unwanted and unexpected direction.
Since then it had been needling at her. She should have said something, stood her ground. You can’t condone racist behaviour with silence. She discussed it her friends, making light of the irony in an immigrant objecting to people British born.
But she knew inwardly, more embarrassing than her cowardliness last week, was the fact that broaching the subject again could only lead morally to a dismissal, and she couldn’t do that.
After all, good cleaners are so hard to find.
Julian Baker started writing one weekend in June, and prefers writing to working; he wishes he could work less and write more. He has been published by nthposition, sixsentences, matchbookstory and others.