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The Tailors Life.

Susie and Jorgies new adventure begins

By Niecee MayPublished about a year ago 14 min read
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The Tailors Life.
Photo by Anthony Smith Chaigneau on Unsplash

*Alarm buzzing*

Stretching out and yawning while Susie shuts off her incessant alarm. Time to get ready for another amazing day. She often wonders if she's getting too old to do this alone. She has been in this cycle; wake up, get ready, make cloths and do fittings, home and sleep; for the last 30 years. She loves her job, her quiet little life, and this tiny little town. She can agree that her town being just close enough to the big city has it's perks as well. She has heard from her regulars that several of her customers come from all over the country to see her specifically, so apparently word of mouth has it's perks too. Maybe I need to look for an assistant, or better yet, an apprentice, she thinks with smile. An apprentice doesn't necessarily need experience, but it would be beneficial.

She start getting ready and making her morning tea and oatmeal as she continued to ponder this idea. Supposing passing this wonderful trade onto the next generation would be the right thing to do. She has recently been asked how she manages it all on her own. Making the dresses and outfits, fitting people and adjusting their clothes for them. She just loves it so much and knows it is such a huge help to this town and those that travel for her to fix their things as well. I suppose it would be good for someone else to carry on my good work. I mean I cannot live forever. I know they say that people have searched for the fountain of youth, but they do always fail to find it after all. This settles it, once I'm done with my tea and breakfast Jorgie and I will head to the shop and set up a help wanted add for the local paper. It's not like I have a lot of work for today, everything I have currently is either nearly done or has plenty of time that it can wait a day to get going. She thinks and finishes her morning routine.

*A short while later, at the shop with her 100 pound, Blue Merle, Great Dane named Jorgie in tow; Shop is opened and ready for business. Susie is sitting at the computer, with a fresh cup of tea, at the front welcome desk*

"Ok Jorgie how about we get this advertisement up and running?" Susie says as if the Dane can understand her, and maybe he does because he seems to nod in approval.

While she designs her advertisement a few people come and go buying things she has on display already made and schedule fittings to tailor them to fit a little more perfectly, as well as someone who order a custom fit version of a unique outfit she had designed and finished making about a week ago. This always makes her smile, knowing that she can design something other people actually like, especially since it was just something to show she can make custom items, in custom fabrics and colors.

Lunch time arrives and Susie has just about completed her advertisement when Jorgie starts getting very excited, Susie knows this can only mean a handful of people that could be coming in, and the closer the guest gets the more she is sure who it is. Then she hears the tell tail door bell ding, signaling the entrance of their favorite local kids coming in. Maggy, Sally, Jenna and Glenda, these girls have been inseparable since birth, their moms met while pregnant and the four have never seemed to be apart. They each give Jorgie some love as they come in.

"Hello girls! It's always a pleasure to see you! How are you four doing today?" Susie asks them "Are you here to see what's new or just come to chat?"

"We aren't interrupting what you were working on are we Miss Susie? I saw you at the computer, before we walked in, looking very intently at the screen, but your face looked less like clothing design than normal so I'm curious what the change was?" Askes Sally intuitivly. Sally had been giving Jorgie some belly scrubs, as she stands up Jorgie huffs as he wasn't ready for her to stop, but knows it's his time to go lay down while Susie works.

Susie smiles, "You know you don't have to call me 'Miss' and I love how attentive you are Sally. You are right, I wasn't designing anything clothing at all, I was actually designing an add for an apprentice. It's something I've recently been thinking about and decided it was time to look into finding someone interested in helping me, but that's not what you came in for, spill it girls." Susie said waiting for the impending new disaster the pre-teens were dealing with. Susie smiled at her thoughts about how the girls, and their styles, have changed over the years; feeling lucky enough to watch them grow up, and having made many of their special outfits for various occasions.

"Susie you make the most amazing clothes," Jenna states as she looks at and smiles at Susie's newest design, "and as you know Glen has been growing A LOT in a VERY specific area." The never shy Jenna states in a very matter of fact, and at times extra loud manner to emphasize her meanings. "Can you pleeeeaaaasssssseeee help us out?" Puppy dog eyes and all come out for this part.

"Jenna stop this is hard enough!" Glenda groans, "But, yes Susie, she has a point, I need help, but she has no filter or sensitivity!" Glenda seems a little horrified at her best friend who laughs it off and sticks her tongue out at her all in good natured fun.

Susie giggles a little in the light of the teasing, "Girls you know there is never any judgment here. I deal with people of all shapes and sizes daily. We all hit this age where our bodies change, no shame there, breath and we'll get through this. Now Maggy, since you're closest to the door, please be a dear and lock it up, turn my sign to 'Out To Lunch' so we can have a private session before I take my lunch, you know what I may do both at the same time depending ladies. Come now ladies." As Susie speaks, Maggy does what she is asked, locking the door, flipping the sign, and pulling the shades down. This is clearly not the first time this has happened. "Thank you Maggy, you are a doll." Susie finishes saying while she grabs her sewing bag, note pad, and sketch pad. They start walking to the designated design area.

Jorgie hears and sees all the commotion and follows along to his big pillow of a bed near the designing area. As they walk over they pass what can only be assumed to be the beginnings of some sort of clothing article pinned to a mannequin that Susie is clearly stuck on, and clearly haphazardly tucked away to be mostly out of sight. "Susie what is this going to be?" Sally asks.

"Don't be nosey Sal," Maggy says a little quietly while pulling on Sally's sleeve. "She would have said if she wanted to, it's clearly back there for a reason."

"Girls I always welcome questions, you cannot learn if you don't ask right?" Was Susie's quick response, as she pulls it out to be shown a bit. "I have actually been a little stuck on this project and have spent several days trying to finish it, O.K. so it's more like weeks but I'm not counting the time I refused to even look at it. I don't know how to explain it but I just never seem to be happy with it's various potential outcomes and always wind up back here, where it sits, unfinished." She looks at the item with her face kind of scrunched in an unpleasant way, "But onto your project," She turns away from the mannequin, "Jenna and Glenda....." looking at each girl as she says their names, about to give further instructions, but trails off when she sees how Glenda is looking at the unfinished thing. "What are you thinking Gal?" Susie asks her after a moment or two.

With that nickname Glenda snaps back to reality and kind of stutters a bit, "Oh, I, I uuhhh.... It's... It's absolutely beautiful.... I like this fabric... is it something new? I've never seen it here before? This color too... What color is this?? I'm really just surprised by how much I like it all. It's not even complete and I'm already in love with it." All the while she kept staring at it, walking up to it and touching and rubbing the fabric in an almost rhythmic way.

"I have an idea." Susie states with a smile and sets to working. The other three girls watch as she moves about doing some prep, walking to get the spool of fabric as well. Glenda stays there, staring at this unfinished work and imagining the various potential ways to finish this. Eventually everything is in place, and Susie sits the girls down in chairs that she has set out for them, allowing Glenda to sit with the unfinished work for as long as she wanted, not saying a word the whole time. Then she used hand commands with Jorgie so she could put him and his pillow near the other girls, allowing for as much use of the space for them to work as possible. Susie sits down and starts sketching, the girls start whispering, wondering what epiphany Susie had just come to, even asking Jorgie if he had any ideas. Jorgie groaned, as if to say, "Really? You think I know what that woman thinks?" then walked over to nudge Glenda and hope for pets from her too. Glenda absentmindedly scratched him still momentarily lost in her own world of this fascinating fabric.

No one had seen Glenda like this before, except once with some art supplies she found and bought a couple of years ago. Glenda only seems to have a few interests and claims to be very picky, so this is a pretty big thing to these girls. As she sketches, Susie makes a mental note to get more of this fabric in varied colors and patterns. It is a nice glittery fabric that is both soft and rough at the same time. This particular roll was a beautiful deep orange color. An orange you would expect to see in a sunset, and the glitter made it look like stars shing through that deep sunset orange.

When she had completed her first draft, which was about 4 different designs, she pulled the mannequin and Glenda to the center of the work area and asked her what she liked and didn't like about the different drawings. In doing this she pulled Glenda from her thoughts and saw her face light up as she looked at the 4 different versions of what Susie had drawn. Jorgie sensing the change in the rooms atmosphere, half stood, stretched like he had just awoken from the best nap, looked up at everyone and laid back down on his bed, making just enough noise to have the girls all pay him some attention for a moment while the other two discussed.

Susie ate her lunch while they talked and each girl took a page of her sketch pad to draw up any idea they wanted for a dress or shirt. As their session ended Susie and the 4 girls had decided on 3 different tops, 2 pairs of pants and a dress for a to-be-decided-later event. The local school system does all kinds of Junior High and High school events so no one was worried about "the when" at that moment. They discussed the color schemes of Glenda's new tops and bottoms and end up designing each girl a new top just for them as well.

When all is done, cleaned up and ready for Susie to get to work, they say their goodbye's and the girls leave the store so Susie can open back up for her afternoon sessions. Jorgie stretches and moves his pillow back to it's spot near the front desk so he can greet all the customers.

Susie smiles and shakes her head a little watching the gentle giant while he does this. He has a small cut out area, divided by a low wall and gate, where he can go when nervous or very young customers come in. He knows this is his safe place where he can go for various reasons. He also know that if he is told to go there he cannot come out until either he is told he can, or the reason he was told to go no longer exists. Susie loves how smart Jorgie is and how easy it was to train him. He is so very good with small children and definitely helps when there is a single mom come in for a fitting or to find something for any occasion, because he keeps the kids occupied and safe.

After a few moments of proudly watching her Dane get comfortable and settle in for the time being, Sally finishes up and is about to post her advertisement when Jorgie's head looks up toward the front door and tips to the side like he's confused, and Maggie comes busting back in, seeming to be in quite the huff.

"Miss Susie I tried really hard..... to get away from the girls.... I finally managed... Please tell me.... you have not posted.... the advertisement yet because I had.... the most fun today, and every other day honestly, helping you with all of our clothing designs." She said so fast while trying to catch her breath from apparently running the whole way back from their chosen lunch location. Knowing these girls probably the local Burger shop about 4 blocks away. "I know I might be too young to work a whole lot, but I promise to keep up my studies, and you can tell me no, but maybe even just knowing I want to might make it different for later...."

"Hold on young lady." Susie cuts her off once her brain catches up to her surprise, "I am so excited to hear this from any young person, I am also confused as to why you hadn't said anything earlier, or why you felt the need to be away from the girls you've grown up with. I would have thought you would have wanted them a part of this potentially big step, plus you are correct on the being young, you are hardly old enough to have a part time job, and under minor pay rates at that. Are you sure this is what you want, because this is a big thing having a job so early in life while still in school and a kid?" She finishes saying everything with kindness and finesse, a little smile and happy chuckles played in.

"I was afraid you would say no and I couldn't bare to have the girls see me like this. I have never had this amount of fun doing anything and I always love being here. I felt like watching Glen today was a sign that we all have something we're destined for. We've never seen Glen like that about anything and I feel like that every time I'm in here." Maggie looks a bit forlorn, like she could cry in an instant.

Everything Susie has seen over the years, Maggie isn't the type for much emotion or words half the time, so when she talks everyone seems to listen. Susie walks over to Jorgie, who has been watching intently and seems a little distressed at what has transpired so suddenly, and starts rubbing his muzzle, and thinking about what Maggie has just told her. Susie knows the girls are almost old enough to work, and she knows Maggie well enough to know this would be good if Maggie can pick it up and learn well...

Maggie watches Susie with hope and fear and anxiety mixed and mingling in her head and heart. She is fearful of failure before beginning, afraid that Susie is laughing in her head, and this quiet suspense is killing her more than when she was trying to figure out how she was getting away from her friends earlier. Maggie is about to swallow her pride, give up, chicken out, and leave when Susie finally breaks the silence.

"Let me have some time to think, talk to your parents, and the school. I am not saying yes, but I'm not saying no. I will wait to upload the advertisement until I have made my final decision, but for now it is a maybe." Susie tells Maggie as calmly as she can muster with a small grin on her face when she is done.

"Thank you Miss Susie, I know it's a big deal and I wish I had more to offer than just a willing to learn, all too young kid. I just have this feeling, you know?" Maggie says, while a look of complete relief washes over her features.

Maggie, Susie, and Jorgie say their goodbyes, Susie talks to Jorgie about what just transpired in a bit of bewilderment. She then goes about starting some of her end of day tasks. The rest of the afternoon went on without anything note worthy; a few orders and some customers browsing and planning. She takes her new projects for the girls home with her to start some work on some of them, and starts planning a possible task for Maggie, but first things first she needs to meet with all the girls parents for final approval, but most especially Maggie's for her possible new role.

In the coming days Susie manages to get all the information she needs for the girls outfits and talked to Maggie's parents about the potential "junior apprenticeship" as she decided to call it, considering Maggie's age this seems very fitting. Maggie's mom is thrilled that her baby already wants to work, how well they must be raising her and how responsible she's become. All normal mom things it seems to Susie. Maggie's dad is mostly concerned with how young she is and her studies, also perfectly normal daddy issues in Susie's mind as well. Susie told them they could work together to be sure this was what was best for Maggie, and they set a dinner date with enough time so that each side could create what they deemed a "fair for her age" starting agreement, and set up when it would be appropriate to reassess and change the "rules" or her apprenticeship. The adults would use this meeting as a "are we OR can we be on the same page with this" and it's finally the day for the initial meeting to go over what Maggie and her parents have decided would be fair compensation and schedule, and a potential idea of how they all are to keep track of things as a three person team. Maggie's parents were also supposed to bring Maggie into the conversation for her input as well, and she is supposed to be at dinner with them as long as all things went well.

The adults decided on Maggie's favorite place, in her honor, for an early afternoon dinner, allowing still for a decent hour for suppertime. Susie closed the shop for the day and has Jorgie at a neighbors house so the dogs can play while she is out of town for this dinner meeting. Susie continues thinking about the events of the last few days and is getting more excited for this new chapter to start. She continues getting ready for dinner, looking forward to ironing out the details of the next stage in this beautiful, new and exciting beginning!

familyYoung AdultShort Story
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About the Creator

Niecee May

I'm a Mom of two boys, and I have a love of literature. I'm an open book and love reading and writing. I started writing around age 10. I like the term Dragon Mom as I hoard Books.

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