The Y-files [GL]
Bernie Lourdes' POV
One day! I was gone for one bloody day, and I came back to a mess, where the stress of resolving it would probably take some weeks of my life.
Claire was not really to blame. It was that woman again. Kath Lyst really was a troublesome partner for the CYA. Well, for Claire it was out of my hands, but for the other girls, I could do a career survey and offer a direction for their apprenticeships that way. It should help Fien, that way she at least will get to do something in the direction of what she wants herself.
I thought a while about how I would present this to Kath. I would not make the same mistake as Claire. After all, the Lyst group would have to pay and provide their education, as we contractually agreed, so I could not just take action on my own without her consent. When I thought things through, I called her.
Even though I was calling her mobile, I was directed through several secretaries before I finally got her on the line.
“Hi Bernadette, I hope this isn't about my deal with Claire. Because that is between me and her.”
Defensive from the start. I guess she knew I was going to try something.
“No, of course not. I told her the same thing.”
I could hear the relief in Kath's voice when she replied “Then to what do I owe the pleasure?”
“I want to discuss some actions that I want to take concerning our contract that also involve you. So I really wanted to hear your thoughts and give you a heads up for our meeting next week.”
“Oh, I'm all ears.”
I started explaining how I wanted to hire all the FBY girls on apprenticeship contracts, and that I would hold career surveils to decide the direction their careers would take. I did my best to make it sound like really standard school stuff so that she would not get suspicious of Fien's case.
“That sounds reasonable, but I want you to take their school results into account too. Sometimes people want things that just are not for them.”
I would have to agree with that point, it was only logical. It was a bit less good for my plans for Fien, because she was mostly brilliant in math and the sciences, not that she was poor at languages, she was still among the best at school, but you could easily see that that was through hard work and not because of her talents. It would be up to Fien, to write something smart on that surveil.
“You make an excellent point. Of course, we will take the girls' abilities into account.”
“Oh, and I will offer all of them an extension of 4 years to their apprenticeship contracts after their regular high school. If they succeed they will be provided with a master's degree, issued by our corporate university in the US.”
This sounded very nice. It would be a nice opportunity for the 6th graders, but I am sure this would not come for free.
“And what do you want in return for your generous offer?”
Kath started laughing.
“You don't disappoint. I am impressed that you knew there would be some conditions attached. But nothing special. Just that if they agree, at the moment they leave the CYA or FBY, they need to work for the Lyst group for at least as long a period as the education we provided. It is our return on investment, so to speak. In the end, it is up to their individual choices. But a career start in the Lyst group, and a master's degree issued by our university would look good on any resume. I believe this is a win-win situation.”
I had a lot to consider. This would mean that Claire would be bound for four more years after high school, but as long as she worked for the CYA, she would be safe from clutches Kath's clutches. But her dream to become a professional chef would have to be delayed. I hoped I did not make things worse for Fien with this call.
I was taking too long to respond so Kath said “I will put all of this in writing and send it to the school board. I am sure they will be delighted with the support from the prestigious Lyst group.”
Well, I already knew I could not really refuse the offer, but now it was final. She outplayed me again in the exact same manner as last time. Infinite capital is a powerful ally.
“We will be happy to receive it, Kath!”
“I am glad I could have been of service. It is always a pleasure doing business.”
After I put down the phone I felt like I had just run a marathon. Well, at least we made some headway.
Now I had to put it all into motion. Make those surveys, and make sure everyone had done them before the end of the school day so I could work on some contract propositions over the weekend.
But first I needed a recharge. I decided to call Lisa, to see how she was doing.
“Missing me already?” She said teasingly after she picked up the phone.
“Of course. After last night, you are the only thing on my mind.” Last night was incredible. It was everything I ever dreamed of, and more.
“After everything that has been happening, I just needed a recharge,” I said
“So I am your gas station? You know they are heavily taxed, don't you? And I just thought of an ideal way for you to pay those taxes.”
We both giggled like little girls. Lisa turned into such a tease. But she was super cute at the same time. I could not wait for us to see each other again.
“Claire asked some questions, I avoided them for now, but don't wait too long with telling them, because it won't be long before she figures it out herself. She would have already figured it out if she was not so trusting of me.”
“I will have a talk with her when she gets home. I will keep who you are, a surprise until I can present you though. I want to see the look on my children's faces when they realize.”
“You know you can be such a bad girl sometimes.”
“Oh but you love me for it.”
“You know I love everything about you.”
We continued our silly lovers' talk for a while. When we hung up I felt completely recharged and pumped up to get my work done. “Ok Bernie, time for some action. Let's get this show on the road!”