Knowledge is Power

I sat at work yesterday feeling depressed and down.

I’m not happy working for anyone. The year or so when I formed a business partnership with Brother-In-Law was the best year of my professional life. So what if it didn’t take off like I thought it would. I made ends meet, didn’t I?

I looked around at the people I work with and thought “how the fuck did I end up here.”

Before I found Solicitor, work was my life. I worked closely with the MD of a smallish company. I had the heads up on new business changes and my opinion on business actually counted for something.

Through a series of unfortunate events I now find myself working in Marketing for a company big enough for people not to know each other.

I needed some advice. So I did what  I do every so often. I emailed Gay Boss (my old boss).

Me: Hey, I’m bored. I need help. I need words of motivation and inspiration.

Gay Boss: What am I? You’re agony aunt? You’re not as smart as I am, obviously, but you do have a brain. Might help if you bothered to use it once in a while. Amuse yourself.

Me: Thanks.

The kick up the backside still wasn’t enough. The others slowly drifted off to lunch and I sat where I was flicking a pen onto the desk.

My eye’s wandered over to Bitch’s desk. I stared at her PC for a couple of minutes. Then I did something I hadn’t done in years.

I checked the corridor and quietly shut the door. I swiftly walked over to Bitch’s PC and pressed ctrl alt del. The username came up with a request for a password.

I racked my brain. People are smarter nowadays. There’s always a number and a symbol in a password but the actual word is always memorable.

Her dog? puddles1!

access denied

hmm Puddles1!

access denied

One more try. If I don’t get it I’ll give in. I don’t want to lock the PC.

Puddles!1

access denied.

Crap, I’m losing my touch!

I sat back at my desk. My mind was suddenly occupied and focused on something. I needed that password! I had no idea why. I just really wanted it.

I stood up and walked back to her desk and opened her top draw.

Holy shit what a mess!Is that a half eaten Twirl?

As I rummaged through I found a rolled up post-it note. puddleS*4

I knew it was the dog! There was a huge chance that it was an old password. I tried it anyway.

Welcome to Windows Desktop appeared on the screen

Wow, what a freak. Rule number 1: never ever write down your password.

I moved the mouse to the email icon.

I suddenly heard movement outside the door.

ctrl alt del lock

I walked towards the door and pulled it open. I smiled at Indian Guy as I passed, and stepped into the corridor in the direction of the toilets.

Yes, I know its wrong to snoop, but I was bored and I suddenly regressed back into being Young Elise. Young Elise who always believed that knowledge was power. Young Elise who always kept valuable info to hand.

I have the password. I haven’t used it yet. It’s just good to have.

Men don’t look

I paid for our coffees. The Italian guy behind the counter flashed me a meaningful smile as he handed me my change. I threw him a sunny smile back.

Sister had grabbed us a table. As I slid into my seat, I caught the attention of a group of teenage boys hanging out in a nearby booth. One brave boy flashed me a cheeky smile and a wink. I rolled my eyes and chuckled.

“It won’t last you know.” Sister said quietly.

“What?”

“The attention.” Sister stirred a brown sugar into her coffee and stared at the swirling liquid. “You’ll wake up one day and realise that the only people who look at you are the ones that love you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Men. They stop looking. The only men that look at me are the ones that I talk to first.”

“I don’t understand.” I  shook my head in confusion. “It’s the same thing.”

“No it isn’t. Men don’t look at me without getting to know me. You go around with men staring at you all day. One day it’s going to stop. How are you going to feel when it does?”

“It won’t bother me.” I shrugged, breaking off a piece of muffin. “It’s not like I actually care whether some guy is perving or not.”

Sister laughed. A short humourless laugh.

“Are you telling me that if the guy behind the counter didn’t flirt with you, and the boys on that table didn’t check you out and make bets on who has the guts to wink at you, you wouldn’t feel any different??”

“No, I wouldn’t.” I said firmly. “I still get my coffee and that’s all I’m here for.”

“Elise, you need guys to look at you. It makes you feel beautiful. You need it because it give you reassurance that you look good. That a guy wants you just by looking at you.” Sister blurted out passionately. “Are you telling me that the lack of attention won’t affect you at all?”

“What’s going on with you? Seriously, why are you in a bad mood?”

Sister shrugged, looking unhappy.

“What happened to me?” She said finally. “I woke up one morning and I feel… ugly.”

“You are not ugly!” I laughed. “Seriously, you look like Kate Moss.”

She stared at me.

“Well not in that anorak!” I took a sip of coffee. “Men don’t look at you because you look like you’re about to analyse pond algae” I told her honestly. “You dress in the most baggy clothes known to man. You never condition your hair. And if you’d used sunscreen like I told you-”

“Elise. Stop!”

“Ok.”

She sighed, “It’s a horrible thing to think.”

“What?”

“I’m jealous of you.” She admitted.

I was stunned for a few moments and began recalling old memories.

Sister wearing simple faded jeans, a baggy top and wellies and still managing to look like she stepped out of vogue. The cute freckles that dusted her nose that the guys used to go wild for. The dirty blond hair with amazing natural highlights of gold and silvery blond. The thin tall boyish figure that I could never have.

“Me??” I gasped. “You are joking.”

“Look at yourself! You look like a cheeky version of Catherine Zeta-Jones!”

I chuckled. “Seriously, are we going to do this? Ok, my turn. You have a natural country look. I was always jealous of your blond hair. Jealous of the way you could eat anything and still be thin and tall. The freckles are so cute. You could have been a model.” I paused. “You look like your mum.”

Sister’s eyes filled with tears. Her mother died when she was really young and she carries a photo of her around with her. I wasn’t lying when I told her she looked like her. It’s true.

I took a bite of muffin “You still give a shit that the teenage boys aren’t winking at you?”

She laughed through her tears. “Well not right now!”

She dried her tears. “I know it sounds stupid, but you love me, that’s why you tell me I’m pretty.”

“You are!”

She nodded. “But sometimes I just want a guy to look at me. Look at me and think about sex while he’s looking at me. It sounds so crude, but I want to be sexy and young again. I want a guy, any guy, to go home and think about me, even if it’s for a split second, while he’s… you know.”

Ew!

“How do you know they don’t anyway?”

“I know. I can feel it. I’m just another person… fading into the background.”

 

Time of the month

It’s normal for a person’s weight to fluctuate. But when I couldn’t pull a pair of size 8 trousers over my thighs I completely freaked out.

“No good?” The 16-year-old fitting room girl smiled politely as I handed her back the trousers.

“No, it’s too small.” I told her. “But I am a size 8.” I added.

She smiled politely.

“Seriously, I am.” I told her again. “These trousers just got stuck half way up my leg. It must be the cut.”

“Yeah. I have a dress like that. It’s sooo tight around my butt.” She nodded. “You want to try a 10?”

“No! Um, no thanks.”

I found Solicitor in the kitchenware department.

“We don’t have a George Foreman do we?” He asked browsing the shelf.

“No.”

“Do you want one?”

“No.”

“Sure? It can stay in its box and join the Breville Toaster and the Juicer in the cupboard we hardly open.”

“I’m not a size 8 anymore.”

“Um ok.”

“I couldn’t pull the trousers on!” I could feel myself getting panicky. “Am I fat?” I whispered.

Solicitor stopped and turned to me. “Yes, Elise, you’re fat.” He deadpanned. “I’ve been trying to find the right time to tell you. You’re a whale.”

“You asshole!”

“You asked!” Solicitor grinned. “Stop getting hormonal on me.”

“I’m not!”

“Yes you are! You do this every month. How about a Tefal Fryer? Should we get one of those?”

“Excuse me.”

“A Tefal Fryer. You put a table spoon of oil in it and it fries chips to ‘perfection’.”

“No, the hormonal part.”

“Every month you complain about something.” He sighed

“I’m not complaining! I’m genuinely upset!”

“No you’re not. Give it a day or two and you’ll be back to normal. Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed that after all these years.”

“All these years? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Jesus! Stop being stupid. Do you want anything from here?”

Silence

“Elise, do you want to buy anything?”

“Do you want to buy anything?” I asked him curtly.

“Well babe, you wanted to come here. I think the decision to actually buy something rests in your capable hands.”

“Fine. We’ll get the George Foreman.”

“Will you use the George Foreman?”

“Does it matter?”

“Well if we’re going to by a gimmick I’d prefer to pick up something we’d actually use like the Tefal Fryer.”

“You’re the one that wanted the George- Ah! Fine! Get the fryer. Have it YOUR way!”

“Elise, you’re causing a scene.”

“You’re annoying me.”

Silence

“Well?”

“Well what?”

“Are you going to apologise?” I asked

“For what? you’re the one that started it!”

We stared each other down for a minute or so. His mouth began to twitch.

“Would madam like to take a break and get some lunch?”

“Whatever.”

“Or we can stay here and argue some more.”

I reluctantly smiled.”Ok, let’s get some lunch.”

Porn Under His Mattress

Sister called me last night as I was washing up.

“Elise, phone!” Solicitor called.

“I’m washing up!” I shouted back. “I’ll call them back.”

He walked through to the kitchen with his hand over the receiver.

“It’s your sister.” He said quietly. “No chit-chat. Wanted to speak to you.”

I dried my hands quickly and answered.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Elle, I’ve just found something.”

“Something?”

“Yeah. My son has porno pictures under his mattress. Porno!”

Nephew’s 9 going on 10

“Oh… um.”

“How did he get his hands on it?” She said panicky. “what do I do? Is it normal?”

“I have no idea! I’m not a boy. I don’t know how early they start.”

Pause

“You think I should call his father?”

“um..”

“I can’t have this talk with him. I just can’t! It’s too much.”

“Maybe you should call him. I mean Nephew is his son. and this is definitely and father son… thing.”

“Ok.. I’ll call him.”

“On the bright side. At least he’s into girls.”

We hung up and I burst out laughing.

“Nephew has porn under his mattress!” I informed Solicitor, who was lounging about on the sofa with the TV remote in his hand.

He raised his eyebrows.

“How early do they start nowadays?!” I exclaimed. “Sister’s worried about having the chat with him, so she’s calling-”

“Why does anyone need to have the chat with him?” Solicitor interrupted. “It’ll just embarrass him.”

“Well didn’t your dad have the chat with you?”

“No. Did your mother?”

I paused.

“Yeah. No. She sort of did. But I was 19 at the time, so I’m not sure if-”

“So no, she didn’t.”

“No.” I agreed finally.

“So let him be. Seriously, a sex talk can mess up a kid. At that age it’s bad enough realising that parent’s do it, let alone talking to them about it.”

“Yeah, but he needs to be clear on what “it” really is.”

“I never had that talk with my parents. Didn’t affect me. I’ve never had any complaints in that department.”

“I suppose not-”

“And you didn’t, and if I’m not mistaken, you had already done-the-deed by the time your mother spoke to you.”

“Yes but-”

“And believe me, it was a great night.” He grinned cheekily. “I doubt it could have been better, even with your mother’s “advice”…”

“Hey, it’s not advice, it’s just, you know, a chat. Nephew needs some guidance.”

“Babe, the central spread leaves nothing to the imagination. I’m sure he knows what goes where.”

“Stop!”

“I mean they’re pretty graphic. He’ll know where the clit and g-spot is-”

“Oh my God! Stop!”

Stoner and Me and A Large All Day

So yesterday Stoner and I met up again for lunch.

We went to a greasy cafe. The kind where the menu is All Day English Breakfast and Large All Day English Breakfast, and the tea is sweet enough to send you into shock.

“Can I get one egg… no two eggs! With… two, actually make that three bacon, three sausages and um…”

“She’ll have an All Day Large.”

“Stoner!”

“Well hurry the fuck up! Christ I feel for Solicitor sometimes.”

I shot him a filthy look.

“I’ll have an All Day Large.” I said sweetly placing the laminated menu back on the stand.

“With a pot of tea.” Stoner put in impatiently.”So what the hell? BIL’s getting married. Thought he was a certified bachelor.”

“Yeah, no, basically some bitch got him love-sick and now he’s walking down the aisle and about to sign his life away.”

“A bitch?”

“Yeah, she seems nice enough but she’s a bit weird. Like she pretends her nephew is her kid and she’s not going to move in BIL after they get married and she’s planning this lavish thing with-”

“Hold up, she’s not going to move in with him??”Stoner’s eye’s widened with shock.

“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying! Weird huh?”

The waitress set down two large plates of food and a pt of tea. I have to say, the full english breakfast is by far the best breakfast in the world. No one can make it as good as they can in england.

Yes I know I sound biased, but this is coming from someone who’s mother dragged her to France once a year. Croissants are great but sometimes all you feel just feel like a nice greasy bacon sarnie, dripping with butter and ketchup.

“Have you had the talk with him?” Stoner asked as he mounted as much food on a fork as humanly possible.

“Well yeah, Solicitor has, I have, his mum and dad have, I think even Avo has.”

“Let me gueth, e told you all oo mind your own buthnus?”

“Ew, don’t talk with your mouth full!”

Deep swallow.

“Sorry. So what did he say?”

“He kind of got all angry and stopped listening.”

“Not good.”

“No I know. I even tried using his kind of jargon. Planning an investment. See a decent return. Legally binding contract. Profit and loss, blah blah blah.”

“Have you spoken to her?”

“Her?”

“Yeah the woman he’s signing his life away to?”

“Wow, Stoner, what happened to ‘don’t get involved Elise, it’s none of your business’?”

“When have I ever said that?!”

“Oh… damn! Who is it that says that?” I pursed my lips in thought and drummed my fingers on the table. “Yeah you’re right. Not you. You’re the one that encourages me.”

“So meet up and speak to her.”

“She lives up north.”

Pause

“North?”

“Yep.”

Pause

“How far up north?”

“Far enough for her to have an accent.”

“Scouse?”

“No not that nice. Like one of those Manc slash Brummie accents. Nasally. It’s a little stronger than the Wolves accent.”

“Wow! Call her and put her on loud-speaker.”

“No!”

“Do it!”

“No!”

He went to grab my phone. I slapped his hand away, like a mother hitting her kid’s hand away from a freshly iced cake.

“On a scale of one to Aimee, how much of a psychopath is she?”

“I’d give her an 7.5. She’s not a druggie and she hasn’t let herself into my house.”

“Have you heard from her?”

“BIL’s fiance? No.”

“Aimee.”

“Oh her. No, not for about a year. Why?”

Stoner shrugged.

“What?”

“She’s sort of cute. In a psycho kind of way.”

“Do you want me to stab you with a fork?”

Stoner and Me

Stoner met me for lunch yesterday.

To be fair, he should be doing it more; being unemployed and all. Other than standing in the Job Centre queue once a week, and occasionally googling jobs, he does nothing!

So we sat in a lovely corner of Costa and sipped cappuccino (me) and hot chocolate with a shot of hazelnut, topped with whipped cream and marshmallows (him).

“So what’s new?” I asked, after we’d settled down.

“Not much.” He shrugged “How’s the Hubby?”

“The Hubby’s good. He’s been a little busy recently. I saw Bimbo over the weekend.”

Stoner’s eye’s creased up as he smiled affectionately. “And how is the Thicko?”

“Don’t call her that!”

“She thought ADHD was an ingredient in food.”

“She got it mixed up with MSG” I informed him, defensively. I felt my lips twitching at the thought of all of the other crap Bimbo’s come out with in the past.

“Hey, I still think she’s great. No need to turn all female on me!”

I grinned at him. We sipped our steaming drinks.

“Remember that time she thought she had to be elected to vote?” I laughed. “She came in to work with full of hope that this year was her year.”

“Classic! Remember the time when you freaked out with your headache and thought you were dying?”

“Oh my God, don’t!” I turned crimson with shame. “Bimbo drove me to A&E with you in the backseat with me.”

“Scariest day of my life!” Stoner breathed shaking his head in disbelief. “I swear I thought she was going to crash and kill us all.”

“I remember her crying.”

“She was hysterical. She kept saying that she loved you.”

“Moment of true friendship.”

We sat smiling for a few seconds.

“So, you were scared about your own life huh?” I asked cheekily.

“Yeah, I knew you were just freaking out.” He said nodding confidently.

“Ha! You were terrified!. ‘Drive Bimbo drive! speak to me Elise, speak to me.‘”

“Mate, I got a half day off of work. End of.”

“I do kinda miss working with you.” I admitted

“Bloody, hell, Elise. At least try to act a little harder. You’ve gone all soft.”

“Shut it. You feel like a fag?”

“Didn’t you give up?”

“Sure, but I can stand by and watch you smoke.”

“You want one?”

“Two’s it?”

“Yeah, you smoke it first.”

We walked back and sat on the wall outside my office, sharing a cigarette.

“Hey, come over one evening. It’s been a while since the three of us had a drink and played cards.”

“Remember when I met you two in Amsterdam?” Stoner recalled, blowing out a faint cloud of smoke.

“Yep, I got completely trashed on a few drags of Super Silver Haze.”

“To be fair, it’s a hardcore bud.”He nodded expertly.

“We should go again. Brother-In-Law’s getting married, so we should organise a weekend away.”

“BIL’s getting what??!”

“Oh yeah, another story. I reckon I’m going to shout out ‘I object’ at the ceremony”

“Wait. What?”

“Crap, I’m late for work!” I exclaimed checking my watch.

“Lunch same time, same place.” Stoner stated.

“Hell, yeah! I’ve got to update you.”

I pecked him on the cheek and hurried into the building.

Men and BBQ Tongs

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Bimbo and Pierce came over with the Two Little Angels on Saturday for a barbecue.

While Bimbo and I poured juice for the girls and something a little stronger for ourselves, Pierce trotted over to Solicitor who had glued himself to the spot in front of the grill.

Both men looked at the pieces of meat on the grill for a few minutes, while Solicitor occasionally shifted them with a large pair of tongs. They nodded. Gestured. Solicitor poked the meat. Pierce nodded and folded his arms, never taking his eyes off the grill.

Solicitor moved marginally to his left to pull out a couple of beers from the cool box. They cracked open the beers. Took a sip. Looked at the grill.

I could tell Pierce was dying to hold the tongs, but the unsaid rule of barbeques is; the man of the house is the only one that gets to hold the tongs.

Bimbo and I launched into a “you never guess who I saw” “you won’t believe what happened” type conversation.

I thought about what a role reversal in this situation would be; if I were standing at the grill pushing around the meat.

Bimbo would trot over kiss me on the cheek and say “Do you need a hand?”

I’d hand her the tongs and say “Sure, can you turn the meat while I sort out our drinks.”

Solicitor would go to the fridge and pull out the beers for himself and Pierce. I’d call out “Can you grab the ice bucket!” as he goes into the house.

I’d fix Bimbo and I some kind of cocktail and we’d leave the meat to cook as we socialised with the boys and entertained the Little Angels. I’d occasionally check to see how the meat was cooking; unless I was otherwise engaged, in which case I’d ask the nearest person to check it out.

By the end of the day, everyone would have had a go at holding the precious tongs.

As it stood on Saturday, Solicitor was the tong-holder. He took the responsibility very seriously. Pierce, who didn’t want to be out done, advised him every so often with “Yep, it looks cooked.” Solicitor would answer with “Another couple of minutes. Just to be on the safe side.”

I mentioned my role reversal idea to Solicitor later that night, as we lounged about.

“Don’t be stupid. women can’t do the barbecue.”

“I see. So we can cook, but turning meat on a grill is a little above our understanding, is it.”

“Sweetie, I love you. But there are some things only a man should do.” He cooed, stroking my hair.

“Like changing lightbulbs?”

“Yep”

“And catching spiders?”

“Uh huh”

“And talking out the bin?”

“Look, I know you’re a woman, but you don’t have to nag!”

“I’m just doing my job, Sweetie.”

The Game Explained

The rules with the Game are as follows;

The aim of the game is to turn on your opponent whist acting completely indifferent to them. The loser is the first one to cave in.

You can touch briefly, but no kissing until someone caves.

Solicitor and I play this game every so often. It started out when he was working late again at the office. We were at the early stage of our relationship and I was a little peed off with being ignored.

When he came home from work I was cooking dinner in sexy underwear. He met my challenging eyes and casually walked to the fridge and poured himself a nice cold pint. He leaned against the counter with a slow smile.

I wanted to punish him for not spending time with me so I ignored his smile and began a discussion on politics.

He was game, he stuck with the boring subject and decided to retaliate. He barely brushed past me to get the plates. As soon as we had the slight contact he knew he’d turned me on.

Suddenly he was the one in control.

We played this game as we dished up dinner and set the table. I’d lean over and give him a wonderful view of my breasts, he’d take off his shirt giving me something extremely sexy to look at, my hand would accidentally brush his bulge, his fingers brushed below my earlobe to straighten out my earring. Until we both caved and completely forgot about dinner.

We always debate on who caved. We stay up for hours convinced it was the other person.

I urge all of you couples to try it. It’s crazy how hard you work to turn each other on… what lengths you’ll go to.

The Game

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To celebrate my baby step into a car park, Solicitor and I went down to the local pub. Life is business as usual. The riots seem to be over in the Capital, and as Stoner points out, anything that happens outside London means very little to Londoners. We watch the news, have a little complain about it and carry on. Awful I know.

Our local pub is owned by an Indian family, so as well as a great selection of the usual alcohol, there’s a fantastic menu of snacks.

We ordered ourselves a mixed grill; chicken tikka on skewers, spiced lamb shops, sheek kebab, grilled tiger prawn, with mint yogurt sauce and salad, and a glass or red wine (for me) and a pint of Carlsberg (for him)

Gordon, another local, raised up his hand that held an old Zippo: “You got a light?” He called.

Gordon’s a nice guy. He’s near 60 and he’s lived in the area all his life. He’s seen his local change from being a seedy smoke-filled pub with dogs running about, to the skin head pub, to the nice contemporary pub that it is now.

He’s always had the table by the door. Since 1964. The owners changed. The decor changed. But over the years Gordon remained the same.

Solicitor raised his hand back. The first time Solicitor and I spoke to Gordon was when Gordon asked us for a lighter. I noticed the old Zippo on the table in front of him and said “You’ve got one.” Gordon laughed and said “Yep I do. Just cos I asked you for one, don’t mean I ain’t got one me self.”

From then on, every time we see him he raises his Zippo and shouts out “you got a light?”

Anyway, Solicitor and I settled at our usual table and smiled at each other like daft idiots.

“You look so happy.” He said with a grin.

“I am.” I beamed back.

He studied me seriously and nodded.

“You’re ok.”

“I know!” I exclaimed. “I’m seriously ok!” I took a deep gulp of my wine and continued as casually as I could “You know, I was thinking about what Avo said, and I was thinking that. Well you know.”

Solicitor broke into a huge grin. “Now?”

I rolled my eyes. “Not right now. I’m hungry. I want to finish the tikka first. And maybe have a few more of these.” I picked up my glass and swirled the liquid around. “But after that…”

He took a sip of his pint and shook his head. “Na, I don’t feel like it.” He said in a mock serious tone.

“No?”

“No.”

I shrugged. “Ok.”

I accidently-on-purpose brushed the bulge at his jeans as I placed my napkin on my lap and took another casual sip of my drink.

He’s dark eyes flashed mischievously.

Let the game begin! This could be a long long night….

Readers: If you feel like reading something naughty I can expand on the game? It’s totally up to you?

A Final F* You

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.

“Yes please.”

“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.

Pause

“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?”

“Yeah.”

“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!”