It did not bother Laura, nor did it bother me what the bank manager thought of a twenty-six-year old, professional woman bringing her mother to the appointment to discuss her own debt.
We sat opposite the bank manager in a wood clad room. He pushed back in his spring backed chair, laced his fingers together and waited for Laura to begin.
It was I who spoke first, it was I who had things to say.
‘How come she has been allowed to run up so much debt?’ I asked.
‘Laura has sufficient funds deposited each month, her debt is manageable.’
‘Manageable? In banking terms, the interest charged each day for overdraft.’
I handed a cheque over, for nine thousand pounds to clear Laura’s debt. ‘It’s not between the bank and Laura when I make her solvent. I don’t want it happening again. You can take this overdraft, this allowance of funds off her account.’
‘Still that is Laura’s choice.’ He leaned forward with my cheque in his hand.
Laura stared at the desk separating us from him. I gave an ironic smile as she stared at literature for savings accounts.
‘What say we reduce the overdraft to two thousand?’ The manager suggested.
‘No, no overdraft.’ I said.
‘What about food, Mrs Sefton? What if it’s the end of the month, Laura has no funds and is waiting for her salary to clear?’
‘Food? She’s not spending this sort of money on food.’
We were getting nowhere. Laura had been dangled a two thousand pounds spending spree, that was all she could hear, that was all she wanted.
Her account – her choice – two thousand it was.