Bought:One Bride

By: Miranda Lee


The final straw was that FOR SALE sign.

Holly decided then and there that she’d played Cinderella long enough. The time had come for some major changes and major decisions. She knew she’d be very sad to walk away from her dad’s pride and joy, but it had to be done. Because it wasn’t going to be her pride and joy for much longer. It would soon belong to someone else.

“I’m just ducking down to the station, Sara,” she said crisply. “I need this morning’s Herald.”

Sara glanced up from where she was finishing an exquisite table setting of pink carnations. It was for a local lady who was a pink addict.

“Looking for a new job?” Sara said.

“Absolutely.”

“About time,” Sara muttered.

A very attractive redhead in her midthirties, Sara had seen plenty of living and did not suffer fools gladly. She’d long expressed the opinion that Holly should strike out on her own.

“You’re right,” Holly agreed. “I’ll be looking for a new place to live as well.”

Sydney’s Saturday morning Herald was always chock-full of job and flat-share advertisements. Holly had actually looked before; a few weeks ago, after Dave had left her for Katie. She just hadn’t had the courage at that stage to totally change her life, and to leave everything that was so familiar to her.

But she’d found the courage now.

Sara smiled her approval. “Atta girl. And don’t you go worrying about me. As soon as you’re out of here, so am I. I wouldn’t work for that cow Connie if this was the last flower shop in Sydney.”

“She is a cow, isn’t she?”

“Of the highest order. And so’s the daughter. For what it’s worth, Katie deserves Dave. I was pleased as Punch the day you got rid of him.”

“Er…he dumped me, Sara.”

“Only good thing he ever did for you. Now you can find yourself a really nice bloke, someone who’ll appreciate your qualities.”

“Thanks for the compliment, Sara, but really nice blokes are hard to find. They certainly haven’t been thick on the ground in my life. Dave’s not the first loser boyfriend I’ve had. I seem to attract the fickle, faithless type.”

“Go get yourself a job in the city, love. Where the suits are.”

“Suits?”

“You know. Men in suits. Executive types. I used to work at a flower stall in Market Place. There was an endless parade of male eye candy walking by there, I can tell you. Talk about yummy.”

“Yes, but does wearing a suit to work equate with being a nice bloke?”

“Nope. But it often equates with money. Might as well fall for a rich guy as a poor guy.”

“You didn’t.” Sara was married to a man who worked on the railways.

“Yes, well, I’m a romantic fool.”

“I’m a romantic fool as well.”

Sara pulled a face. “Yeah. Most of us girls are. Oh well, you’d better go get that Herald before they’re all gone.”

Holly bought the last paper in the newsagent’s and hurried back to study the classifieds between customers, but the news was disappointing. There weren’t very many jobs for florists advertised that weekend. And only two in the city. As for sharing a flat…

The reality of moving in with strangers after living on her own for two years made Holly shudder. Yet she couldn’t afford to rent somewhere decent by herself, not unless her salary was pretty good. She certainly couldn’t afford to buy a place. She had some savings but not much. A couple of thousand. Having Dave as a boyfriend had not been cheap. She’d ended up paying for most things, his excuse being he was saving up for their future together.

Like, how gullible could a girl get?

Facing her shortcomings was not a pleasant experience. But by the time Sara left to go home at four o’clock and Holly began closing up the shop, she’d come to terms with her own pathetic performance as a supposedly adult woman. She had no one to blame but herself if her life was a shambles. She’d taken the line of least resistance and allowed people to walk all over her.

But no more. Come Monday morning she would get in contact with one of the many services who did professional résumés. She’d never had to apply for a job before but she knew you had to present yourself well. Then she would apply for those two jobs in the city. Sara was right. The city was the way to go.

But she wasn’t going to fall into the trap of accepting any job that paid poorly. She would need a good salary if she wanted to keep living by herself.

She didn’t have to rush. Businesses like A Flower A Day did not sell overnight. She probably had a couple of months at least to make her plans and execute them.

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