"Hello, Teicheadh Inn. How can I help you?"
"It's Andie Valentine. I stayed with you for a night last month."
"Andie! It's lovely to hear from you. How are you, dear?"
"I'm doing really well. The reason I'm phoning...what you said before about needing someone to help out over the summer, do you still need someone?"
"I do. Actually, I could really do with someone all year round, as it turns out. Old Mrs Morrison from up the hill's getting on a bit and her health's taken a turn for the worse so she's moving down to Inverness to live with her daughter. Someone's bought her house but they don't want to be doing with the sheep, so I'm going to take on the flock and the croft as a wee business venture. With the hotel being so quiet in the colder months, it'll be nice to have something else to do. I'll definitely need another pair of hands though. Anyway dear, I'm rambling. I hope you're asking because you're going to say you want the job."
"I am. I do. Want the job, I mean. I'd love it. And I'd love to be there year-round, if you want me to. Just so you know, I've no idea what I'm doing with sheep but I can learn."
"Oh, my dear, that would be wonderful! There's a room here at the inn that comes with the job so I know the money's not great but you won't be needing to pay rent and hopefully that'll balance it out."
"You know, I hadn't even thought about the money. I've been saving up a bit anyway and as long as I've got a roof over my head, it's fine. I fell in love with Urcladach that night I stayed and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it the whole time I've been back in Edinburgh."
"And you're sure you'll be alright leaving the big city and all your friends behind? It was a bit of a sudden offer I made. You've given this enough thought, have you?"
"I have. And I will be alright. I really will. I've needed a change for ages but I didn't realise how much until I got back here. I don't know if I believe in fate or whatever, but with the timing and everything happening the way it did...it felt right. It feels right."
"That's good, dear. I think that's how the best things happen in life. They come along at exactly the right time and everything just falls into place."
"I can hand in my notice at work tomorrow but I want to do a month before I go so I'm not leaving them in the lurch. Is that time enough for me to get up to you before things get busy?"
"That's perfect, dear. Perfect. Now, you've still got my card, have you?"
"Yes. I've been carrying it around in my wallet since you gave it to me."
"Good. Send me a wee email with your address and I'll get a contract sent down to you so we can make everything official. Oh, I'm so happy you're going to be moving up here. Do you have a lot of things to bring with you? You can send things up in advance, if you like."
"I'm alright. I don't really have much. None of the furniture here's mine and I don't need to bring all the rest with me. I'm going to donate a lot of it to one of the charity shops up the road and what I do need to bring'll pack into a couple of bags alright."
"And is this the best number to call you on if I suddenly think of something I need to ask?"
"It is for the next week or so, but I'm getting a new phone so I'll email you the number."
"Going for a real fresh start, aren't you, dear?"
"Yeah. It's been a long time coming. And thank you. For the job and for being so nice. I don't think I would've had the guts to just pack up and leave if I didn't have somewhere so lovely to be going to."
"Well, thank you too. I'm looking forward to you getting here."
"Me too. Right, I'll go and email you and start getting stuff sorted to leave."
"Alright dear. I'll see you soon."
"See you soon. Bye."
YOU ARE READING
Stone Flowers Grow in Cold PlacesSpiritual
When a robbery takes an unexpected turn, part-time criminal Andie Valentine is forced to make a difficult choice: dive deeper into a dangerous but lucrative world or escape to a new beginning, abandoning her home in Edinburgh and her last connection...