It didn’t bother Bella, 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 in the wood clad room of the bank opposite the manager. He pushed back in his spring backed chair, laced his fingers together, and waited for Bella 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.
‘Bella has sufficient funds deposited each moth, her debt is manageable.’
‘Manageable? In banking terms, the interest charged each day for overdraft.’
I handed a cheque over, for nine thousand pounds, cleared her debt. ‘It’s not between the bank and Bella 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 Bella’s choice.’ He leaned forward, my cheque in his hand.
Bella looked at the desk separating us from him, she surveyed the items, did not want to connect. 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 Bella’s Mum? What if it’s the end of the month, she has no funds, is waiting for her salary to clear?’
‘Food? She’s not spending this sort of money on food.’
We were getting nowhere. Bella had been dangled a two thousand pounds spending spree, that’s all she could hear, that’s all she wanted.
Her account–her choice-– two thousand it was.