My name is Eirlys, which means snowdrop in Welsh. You know, those delicate plants with the milky white flowers that bloom in sunny spots in early spring before the last of the snow has melted. I don't think the author ever gave me a last name, so it's just Eirlys (pronounced Airless). I was named after my author's friend Eirlys Owen. I'm seventeen and I work in Penny's Llanelen Spa. I've been there about a year and I love it! Penny depends on me for lots of things, she's open to my new ideas and she gives me lots of responsibility.
She trusts me. I like being treated like a grown up. In the old manicure salon, when it was just the two of us, she sometimes left me in charge while she went off and did other things.
I've learned a lot from Penny about how to treat people. I've seen how she handles stroppy clients when they kick off or complain because something isn't to their liking. But best of all is the way she handles Mrs. Lloyd. That really makes me laugh. Penny's all yes, Mrs. Lloyd, you might be right, Mrs. Lloyd, when we both know it's all just a load of old rubbish. But it keeps Mrs. Lloyd happy and she's one of Penny's regular customers, so that's important. Mrs. Lloyd's lived in Llanelen forever.
One of the reasons Penny hired me to work in the manicure salon was so I could bring in more young people. She thought all her clients were getting to be a little on the old side. She says young people brighten the place up. I really can't imagine what it must be like to be old and I think a lot of older people forget what it's like to be young.
They always say my generation is entitled and irresponsible, that we think the world owes us a living. I don't think that's true for all of us. I arrive on time for work every day and I do everything I can to provide a good customer experience. Sometimes older people think we have bad manners or don't know how to dress properly. They think our music is really awful and we spend all our time texting.
I don't know how long I'll want to work in the salon, but for now, I'm happy here. I love the town and my family and I have no desire to move away to a big city like Manchester or even Llandudno. I have everything I need right here in Llanelen.
Mrs. Lloyd and I agree on that. So you see, maybe the generations disagree on the small stuff but on the things that really matter, we're not so very far apart.
The third novel in the Penny Brannigan mystery series, A Killer's Christmas in Wales, was published Oct. 25.