Jenny's Big Day
Jenny’s Big Day
"Jenny's first day at the chocolate factory left her with more than just a sweet taste of success... " Patricia Bainbridge said as she read from her local newspaper and smiled proudly at her daughter.
The child who looked well into her thirties gave a loud cry of “I luvoo!” flung out her arms and buried her head into her mother’s breast. Mother and daughter held each other in a tight embrace.
It was a tender moment that for the most part went quite unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of the busy town centre outside the small run down bus shelter. Cars went by, splashing through puddles in the road, shoppers walked to and fro under umbrellas and tightened their overcoats against the cold November rain.
Yet someone did notice. From the other side of the street, a solitary figure of a woman, perhaps in her fifties and well dressed, watched for several moments and then slowly made her way toward the bus stop in which they stood.
Jenny’s mother exchanged a smile with the woman and Jenny smiled in her own special way at the kind faced person who had now joined them.
“You must be Jenny Bainbridge. My name is Laura Carmichael.” Said the woman, extending a delicate looking hand.
Jenny grasped it tightly in both of hers and shook it with enthusiasm and delight at meeting someone new.
“Careful Jenny. Not too hard.” Said her mother.
“Oh that’s quite alright. You must be Jenny’s mother. You have a wonderful daughter,” the woman said, again extending her hand.
“Patricia Bainbridge. Thank you. That’s very kind.” Said the mother shaking it with a lot less force than her daughter.
“Your daughter is a hero.” Continued Laura.
“This lady must have read the article about you Jenny.”
“I have been wanting to thank your daughter for her brave and wonderful act of kindness.” Said Laura.
“Did you hear that Jenny, Mrs. Carmichael wants to thank you for what you did at the chocolate factory.”
“Thankoo!” said Jenny rather loudly.
“Did you read about it in the local mercury?” asked Patricia.
“Actually no. I haven’t read the local paper yet. I recognised Jenny from her photograph.” informed Laura.
“Photograph? Was that in another paper?” Patricia inquired.
“Oh no. It was one from the factory.” Replied Laura.
“The factory? Would that be the chocolate factory where the fire was?” Patricia wondered.
Laura Carmichael smiled and looked at Jenny. “Yes, all the employees have their photographs displayed upon the wall.”
“Oh, so you worked there too. What a dreadful thing, that fire was.” Said Patricia with concern.
“It would have been, if it hadn’t been for your Jenny. I owe everything to your daughter Mrs. Bainbridge. Everything.”
Jenny’s Mother looked deep into the eyes of Laura Carmichael. Their blueness shimmered as water formed into a gentle tear that trickled down a cheekbone.
“Excuse me.” Laura said, wiping it away with a handkerchief. “My husband and I own, the chocolate factory and it has always been our policy to employ people with special needs such as Jenny. You see it is something that is very close to my heart and my husbands.”
“Thank you for giving my Jenny a chance.” Said Patricia.
“No, I thank your Jenny from the bottom of my heart. I could never repay her for what she did. You see, the man she saved from the fire. Well, he was downs syndrome, like Jenny.”
“I didn’t realise that, all they said was that it was a man she ran in after and pulled out of the building.”
“It was my son Matthew and if Jenny hadn’t done that wonderful thing, he would have died. Thank you Jenny. Thank you so very, very much.”