As far as the world was concerned, Clara was part of the post office furniture. Sure, she kept all the pencils lined up in order of size, but she was great, and never got cross, even with the man who always came in on a Friday afternoon to buy unlikely sounding foreign currency.
Today she had arrived early to work. Clara was always early. She arrived at the same time every day. Most people didn’t notice, and those that did just put it down to her organised nature and said things like, ‘Oh, here is Clara, it must be 7.45.’
They had no idea just what was at stake and how important Clara being at the Post Office at exactly that quarter to eight was.
By the time the post office opened at 9.30, she had washed her face 4 times, counted all the tiles in the small bathroom, turned all the light switches heavy side up, re-counted counted all the tiles in the small bathroom and made sure all the chairs were still from Tunbridge Wells. Once the pencils were lined up, she could finally relax, knowing that for another day the sun would not catapult out of the solar system, dragging half a dozen screaming planets behind it like a teen idol. Plus everyone would get to post their letters on time.
Clara kept her true identity secret.