Sandra visits a Marriage Guidance Counsellor

This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the OU. I’m writing about Sandra and James Hartington, who are visiting a marriage guidance counsellor. It’s written in first-person, from the point of view of Jane Le Fin, the marriage guidance counsellor. It is an exercise in creating a story that uses foreshadowing (Activity 10.5).

This is the third part in the three narratives relating to ‘the woman in crisis – Sandra) … the other two are ‘OMG – Sandra is nearly on time‘ and Sandra at the solicitor’s.

In this job you learn to trust your instincts. By the end of the very first session I knew that their chances of staying together were next to none. Some say that I’m a saviour; others claim that I just love to revel in people’s misery. I like both. Incidentally, my name is Jane Le Fin, a Lassie from Falkirk, who married a Sassenach from Stockport. I’m a marriage guidance counsellor; have been for many years – to many in fact.

It was through a referral that I came to know Sandra and James Hartington: the early 40s couple that visit me weekly, on a Wednesday at 6pm, in my damp second floor office on Harvey Street; about 500 yards from the Premier Inn Stockport Central.

To tell the truth their visit enlightens my week. It’s always a raucous affair – far more entertaining than the contrived ‘good behaviour’ of most couples that promise to atone, like the sinner in confession, who soon reverts to type.

James and I usually talk amongst ourselves until the inevitable sound of ‘sorry I’m late. I had an important client on the phone,’ signals Sandra’s arrival – which usually rallies a war cry from James to the effect of – ‘for God’s sake, Sandra, I’ve put up with this for twenty years.’ Sandra’s retort last week had me biting my lip- ‘Yes, I know I’m late and that you were early, James – No wonder my friends call you Mr. Tissot.’

James phoned to cancel their meeting, earlier in the week. Apparently, he is starting divorce proceedings. I guess being right isn’t always the best feeling. How will I fill the void?

About Sean

I live in my own thoughts, chat to imaginary friends, and survive primarily on Snickers and Nescafe. I work full-time and study part-time for a BA in English Literature with the OU. Home is the North West of England, and my heroes are those authors that can make miracles out of paper and words…… “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain.
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