One Strong Woman To Another
As Ginny entered the newspaper office, she was immediately greeted by the tall woman she had met the last time she was there. Instead of wearing a frown, the secretary looked mildly interested and intrigued. Ginny decided to ask her to let Mr. Watson know that she was there.
“Hello, Ginny to see Mr. Watson,” she said. The secretary smiled in an amused way and sauntered off to Mr. Watson’s office. When she returned she looked as though she wanted to ask.
“You know honey, I didn’t think we would be seeing you again. Looks like you got some spunk after all. My name is Rebecca. Don’t call me Becky,” she said extending her hand. Ginny was thrilled. She very rarely had a woman shake her hand. Women were much too frail for such things.
“Pleasure to meet you Rebecca,” Ginny shook her outreach hand with gusto.
She could tell that Rebecca was not buying the “women shouldn’t work” thing either. There was something about her that Ginny liked. The feeling seemed mutual. Rebecca showed Ginny to Mr. Watson’s office and managed to walk out just fast enough to miss his request for coffee. Ginny watched her walk just out of earshot. Then Rebecca turned to her and winked.
A kindred spirit. Finally.
Say My Name…
Ginny turned to face Mr. Watson. “Hello Mr. Watson. I have brought you a few articles of all different types for you to look over,” she said as she walked towards his desk and set the folder down. He eyed the overstuffed folder and looked up at her curiously.
“Have you picked your pseudonym?” he asked.
Ginny smiled with her chin up and said simply, “I have decided not to use one.” Mr. Watson looked very uncomfortable as he shifted in his seat.
“Now, listen. I told you that I couldn’t run the articles with a woman’s name in the byline. No one will read it in this backwards town. I’m not asking you to do this because I want it. In fact, I think you are very talented. You should have your name and get recognition. But town, this country… it’s not ready,” he said.
She looked at him and saw the moral conflict he was feeling. For the first time, she saw that maybe he had not believed what he had said before. Maybe he was trying to look out for her like her mother had been.
“Mr. Watson, if we wait to change things until people are ready, we won’t ever get anything accomplished. The newspaper is about the present and the future and I know you want to be part of the future. Times will change and someday women will be able to do whatever they want to do. I know its hard now, believe me I do. But I am strong enough for whatever happens. The only question is, are you?” she asked.
Her confidence filled the room. Mr. Watson looked at her with his mouth gaping. He had never been spoken to like that before but he knew that she was right.
With a sigh he nodded. “Alright. We will put your name. Now, what did you bring for me?” he asked.
And So It Began
Ginny handed him one of the articles she had written about how hard it was to be a woman in that time. He took it and read it over. She could see that its impact was not only reserved for her father because Mr. Watson looked quite pale. He instinctively stroked a picture of his daughter that was on his desk. When he finished he took a moment then cleared his throat.
“You really don’t want to ease people into this do you?” he asked rhetorically. She smiled and answered him anyway.
“Since when does the news ease people into anything?” she replied. He let out a little laugh and nodded. He looked at the pile of articles in front of him and then spoke slowly.
“I will pay you 5 cents an article for now. I will go through these and see how many we can print. When we run out of those, I will give you assignments. You will be a freelance reporter of sorts. If you do well and the townsfolk don’t burn us to the ground, I will hire you on as a staff writer,” he offered.
Ginny’s heart raced and she could barely contain her excitement. Before she could say anything he held up his hand. “Ginny, this is going to be a long road. I hope you are as ready as you seem,” he said.
She smiled and nodded then stood up and gave him a chipper goodbye.
Career off to a proper start without masking who she is! Ginny was truly a pioneer for today’s career women. How will she fare on the romance side? Will love and career meet for her? Find out in our last installment of this 7-part short story series next week Wednesday. Be sure to Subscribe and not miss out on the conclusion of Alexis Ali’s “The Unfortunate Life of An Interesting Woman.” [tweetthis]Catch up on our short-story on a woman living in the 1930’s USA who wanted to chart her own course.[/tweetthis]
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