ressed for an interview, Pearl was dismayed to find that the worn string threading the glass beads she had put on for good luck had broken scattering beads right on the steps of the building.
Picking them up would make her even later than she was already, due to a train delay. But pick them up she must, after all, they had sentimental value.
“Oh! Just knew something like this would happen. Today of all days when I’m late for what could have turned out to be my first job.”
“Let me help you. The beads are bright green and not hard to spot”
“Thanks I’d appreciate it. Never worn this necklace since I was left it when my gran died. I was always trying it on when visiting her as a child”
Gran smiled and said: “It was lucky but the string was worn when I inherited it. I’d have been better waiting to get it mended and not believed in luck”
“You’re scrambling about in the rain, dropping as many beads as you pick up. Calm down! Two of us will cut the job by half and there’s a jewellers just around the corner”
“Do you work here then?”
“In the Sales Department of Hector and Brown Retail”
“My interview is in the Sales office with someone called Mick Jackson”
“I was so nervous. I just couldn’t sleep and left in plenty time this morning. Wanted to be early but the train was late and now the necklace breaking and making me later still. Just my luck if he hasn’t time to see me, or has left the building or taken sick. Green was never my favourite colour anyway”
“Pity I’m sure the necklace is just right for you and, if Mick Jackson has left the building when you ask at Reception, the interview can be fixed for another day.”
“I couldn’t face up to it all again. Not another sleepless night”
“Like I said, calm down, think positively – what is your name anyway?”
“Well, Pearl here’s what to do. Go and see them at Reception and then pop around to the jewellers. If your luck holds Reception will fit you in for a later appointment today. Interviewing is going on all week for that job in the Sales office”
“I’ll do that, thanks”
“I must go and take these beads I’ve collected. Believing in luck isn’t foolish. We all do it once in a while”
Pearl watched him hurry away towards the car park and glanced at the beads he had pressed into her hand. Green was a good colour and he had said the necklace was just right for her. She’d take his advice and pop on round to the jewellers after explaining at Reception why she was far too late for the interview. Pearl was fortunate at Reception somebody had cancelled their interview for an hour ahead. She was given that one, and with a confident swing to her step she swept out through the swing doors and made her way to the jewellers.
In the jewellers she was clutching the gathered beads to show to an assistant, when the shop, empty of all other customers bar herself, was raided. Two masked men demanding money and emptying trays of jewellery.
It was like a horrific nightmare!
Pearl screamed as she was pushed to join two assistants, powerless to reach the alarm button below the counter. In the panic of the moment she dropped her beads and, bright green in the morning sunlight, they rolled everywhere. One of the masked men slid as his foot hit a rolling bead and his companion holding the gun turned at the sound of his fury. It gave an assistant just the chance she needed to push the alarm signal.
As the screech of it echoed from the four corners of the room the raiders ran. Pearl, mindful of being given a second chance with her interview, slipped away and steadied her shattered nerves with coffee and a doughnut, in the cafe along the street.
‘Calm down’ he had said on the steps to Hector and Brown.
Helping to collect the green beads scattered all around together had steadied her.
‘Think positively’ he had smiled, as he pressed the ones he had gathered into her nervous hand.
It was only one short hour from then till now when she again trod up those steps, but it seemed she had lived a lifetime in-between. How vivid the memory of rolling green beads crunched beneath skidding feet. Her hand went to her throat were the necklace should have rested. And she coughed as she gave her name at Reception.
The Interviewer was a small man with a tired expression.
Pearl tried to believe in herself and what she could contribute to a job in the Sales Office of Hector and Brown Retail. She tried to give a positive image but somehow, thinking of the crushed green beads on the Jewellers floor, it was hard not to imagine that her luck had run out with the raiders.
The interview finished with a handshake and a polite “We’ll let you know in due course, Miss Davis. Thank you for coming along.”
The next morning the green beads were pictured in the Daily Newspaper with a paragraph on how lucky they had proved in foiling a raid at the jewellers. There was a line or two about Pear – how she had slipped away without waiting to be thanked or leaving a name and address. The shop was anxious to return her beads, newly strung, and without charge, only a couple of them had been crushed underfoot.
Pearl had nothing else planned for the morning so she went along to the jewellers straight away clutching the Daily News. They made a big fuss of her and she was smiling when she left with the green beads around her neck and the feeling returning that life had taken a new direction. For a second she hesitated on the steps of Hector and Brown and looked hopefully towards the closed door. They were interviewing all week and, even if she had managed to get the job, it would be at least another week before she heard from them. Pearl walked away down the street and towards the bus-stop.
She heard from Hector Brown by phone that lunchtime. Pearl couldn’t believe it, but the job was hers and she was to start tomorrow.
The chief Salesman smiled when he saw her coming through the door and said: “I read the Daily News and told the office that if they let you slip through their fingers they would lose a little jewel”
Not only had Pearl met up with the man of her dreams. She was working in the same department and they would see each-other every day. The green beads had brought this about. From now on she was a firm believer in luck.
And she would always value Gran’s last gift.
THE GREEN BEADS.
By Freda Grieve.
All copyrights reserved Freda Grieve 2001
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