Friday 18 September 2020

Too Hot to Handle


by Penny Rogers

Earl Grey Tea in a bone china teacup with a saucer

Monday 2.10 am  I have no idea why I keep waking up at exactly 2.10 in the morning. It’s the fourth day in a row it’s happened. Awake, alert, ready. Ma would’ve said it’s a guilty conscience. She’d know all about that.

Monday 2.33 am  Still can’t sleep. There’s an engine running, a petrol engine. Not a big one, so it must be a car and an oldish one at that. Had a boyfriend who was a mechanic, forgotten all about him but not about internal combustion engines.

Tuesday 2.10 am  There it is again. No need to get dressed, I’m all ready, just put on me Miu Mius and out I go. Been a while since I’ve done this, it feels good.

Tuesday 2.15 am  Walk slowly, really slowly,  past the car. It’s parked just opposite my place, no wonder I could hear the engine. It’s an old Renault Clio. Just one man inside, in the driver’s seat, looking intently at his phone. He doesn’t even glance towards me, doesn’t stopping tapping away at his phone. An old Android by the by the looks of it. Not worth much, like the car.

Tuesday 2.18 am  Walk past the other way. He looks up. I stumble slightly, just like Ma showed me all those years ago. He looks straight at me. I turn very slowly towards him and wink, ever so slightly, and keep walking. I take a tissue out of my bag and let it fall behind me. I turn round to pick it up and see he’s looking at me and not his crappy phone. I walk back towards the Clio; real, real slow.

Tuesday 5.30 am  Have a shower and go to bed, it’s just getting light. That was tougher than I’d expected, must be out of practice. I’ll sleep for a few hours, not for too long though, got quite a bit to do.

Tuesday 10.30 am  Ring Currys and order a new freezer. It won’t be delivered until Friday; I’ll have to move bits around in the old one.

Tuesday 11.00 am  Put the washing machine on hot wash, and the dishwasher. Can’t be too careful. Sort the bags out for the freezer, what if they won’t all fit?

Tuesday 11.10 am   Text Leroy.

Tuesday 11.30 am   Leroy says he’ll do it as a favour. WTF, the car is worth something and owing Leroy a favour is bad news. At least he’ll come and get it before some neb starts asking questions.

Wednesday 2.10 am   Gotta do something about those bags. God they’re heavy.

Wednesday 1.00pm  It’s all over social media and the radio. Police searching the river, found one of the bags.

Wednesday 1.25 pm. Cancel the freezer order. Lose deposit. Shit, what’s happening?

Thursday 2.10 am Wake up. Sounds of graunching followed by a thump. Risk looking out at the street. Leroy’s  tow truck has just dumped the old Clio on the double yellow lines right outside my house.

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