With all of the chaos yesterday, we got a half day off work.
A short man with a pair of very thick specs came over to our office with a clipboard.
“Due to the situation, the town is currently being locked down and you are all advised to go home. Be safe.”
I followed him out into the corridor where staff were on the phone/digging around their bags for their phone and chatting excitedly.
“We should all go to the Slug.” A young administrator squealed excitedly. Only to hear.
“Mel, don’t be stupid, it’ll be closed.”
“Oh god, I need to pick up milk before they close Tescos.”
“Take a bottle out of the fridge here. No way will it be open by the time you get down there.”
“Damn, what about the transport. Who’s on tfl?”
“I got a tweet! They’re gonna shut down the tube station!”
About 20 suited and booted people in the corridor sprinted into action in a panic.
“I’ve got to get home!” “What bus goes to Paddington?” “How do I get to Bank?”
Indian Guy followed me out.
“You need a lift?” He asked, surveying the madness.
“On level three. Green Corsa. Pack up your laptop and meet me there. I’ll go and find Diva.”
As I made my way to the ground floor lift with my laptop all packed up, I had a little moment of panic.
I’m scared of multi-stories. That’s why I don’t drive in.
The lift pinged open and I stepped into it, joining the crowd.
See its fine. I told myself. There are lots of people around. No one can attack you here.
The crowd dispersed at the first and second levels and I was left alone.
The lift pinged open and I was faced with the dark loom of the car floor.
Plenty of places for people to hide.
I felt myself shaking as I stepped out onto the concrete. Digging around in my bag I speed dialed Solicitor.
“I’m in a car park.” I said as soon as he answered.
“Are you ok?”
I nodded, even though I didn’t feel it. “Yeah, I just wanted to be on the phone with you.”
“Why are you in a car park?”
“Indian Guy’s giving me a lift cos of the riots.”
“Ok, so everyone’s leaving?”
“You went into the car park alone?”
“Yeah, he’s getting Diva.”
“This is great! Maybe next time we can park in the actual town centre car park instead of two miles away.”
I snorted a laugh.
“I’m an idiot.”
Solicitor laughed “Yeah, but your my little idiot.”
Once Indian Guy had dropped me home I launched myself on my bed and laughed with relief. And being an idiot, my relief had nothing to do with not being caught up in any riots, it was because I managed to walk around a multi-storey car park alone!
I thought back to Bradley and smiled as I said a final meaningful “Fuck you!”