Chapter Twenty-Seven

888 92 15

"Can you find me a bigger needle, Rosie? This is one is far too small, and I keep stabbing myself," James said. He held his palm out to me and showed me the needle, it seemed to blend into his skin.

"How much bigger?"

"It doesn't matter, just bigger than this."

I took the needle from his hand and walked to the small set of drawers that kept the needles and additions for the garments. James used them to try and keep a little organised and keep up the organisation I had put in place a month or so before. It had been somewhat successful, but I could see him going back to his old ways rather quickly, he had never been all that fond of organising. How he would cope without me if I agreed to take up Doctor Ealing's offer was beyond me.

We had agreed that the trial day would take place on Friday so the rest of the week would be spent helping James finish up anything important at the shop. With the party fast approaching and time running out to complete his orders on time, James had decided it would be all hands on deck. He had even managed to rope Kitty into helping him out, she had been tasked with quality checking all of the garments completed to make sure they were up to standard.

My tasks were less important, and I just followed James around until he needed something from me and that was a rare occasion. James had poured himself into the work almost immediately, working on the intricate beading for Charlotte's dress before anything else. The beads had arrived that morning and James seemed to visibly deflate knowing he only had to be bead one dress and not three. Mrs Ealing's decision to take her business elsewhere benefitted all of us.

From the drawer, I exchanged the small needle for a slightly bigger one and passed it back to James, watching as he threaded the needle and returned to the beading following the pattern, he had drawn on the sheet of paper. All of his attention went into the beading leaving me with nothing to do but stand in the corner and watch him. I hoped that my day with Doctor Ealing would be a little more exciting than with James, but my experiences with Doctor Ealing before had told me that working in a Doctor's office would always be unpredictable.

Some days would be really busy, others would be rather dull. I hoped Friday would be somewhere in between the two so I could experience what it would be like but also be able to take a break somewhere.

"Why don't you go out the back and use your chalk or something? I'm going to be here for a while," James said.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, go on. You unnerve me when you stand in the corner like that."

"All the more reason to stay, I think."

"I don't think so. Go on, go. Watch the weather as well, it looks like it might rain."

"Or snow."

"It's not cold enough. Yet."

I huffed and headed into the office, grabbing my tin of chalk from the desk and sidestepping through the door and into the small room that led to the back ally way. The chalk drawings Robert and I had done the other day had remained on the stone due to the lack of rain since we drew them. They had faded slightly, but still visible against the grey stone. My drawing, a forest of trees with a river running through it, remained on the stone but I shuffled past it to find a new space for a new drawing.

Robert's drawing, which he had wanted to keep hidden from me, was also still on the stone but I refused to look at it. He hadn't wanted to show me what it was when he had been drawing and even though he wasn't there, I still didn't want to look at it. There had been a reason he didn't want to show me, and I didn't want to break the trust he had in me not to look.

The Apprentice Girl // Book 3 in the Rosie Grey seriesWhere stories live. Discover now