By Caroline O’Gara
Pulling the gloves from her aching hands, Maureen eased herself down onto the chair. “Not bad,” she thought for a girl of her age but definitely getting rusty. Four hours in total from start to finish it had taken; not counting the endless hours of grooming and priming that went with the job. Stirring her tea, she studied her handiwork which lay on the table. “I haven’t lost it yet,” she thought to herself; she knew only too well her line of work involved a delicacy and forte that not everyone could undertake, or even understand for that matter. She dreamt of making a difference to people’s lives. and from this dream ‘Discreet Comfort’ was born.
Work was slack in the beginning. It took time for the clients to find her. But over the years, her clientele had grown. She thought of Bridie with fond memories. It had all started with a cup of tea and a listening ear, and with one thing leading to another, before Maureen knew it, Bridie ended up being her first ‘satisfied customer’. After that, so many others had come to her door; all seeking the cup of tea and comforting ear that only Maureen knew she could give.
The home improvement grant she had received from her local authority had made her job a lot easier since she mostly worked from home. Regularly she found herself busy until the deadline. Even though Maureen knew she hadn’t exactly followed the guidelines for receiving the grant, she didn’t give much thought to that fact. She wasn’t one to let guilt take its hold. As she eyed her refuse chute with admiration, she justified her actions by thoroughly believing her work was saving the State a packet.
The chimes of the clock sounded midnight; Maureen took a last taste of her tea. Powerless over her desire to take one last look, she fixed her eyes upon her masterpiece. If only Bertie could talk now! With that she zipped the bag and let it fall down the chute. Tomorrow was collection day. Discretion and comfort at its best!