“Look, just drop me anywhere. I can walk the rest of the way.” I said to Jay, tired of circling the grey underground world of parked cars and litter. “It’s really nothing for me to get back from here.”
“Allan, shut it. You’re gonna stay in this truck until we find a space that isn’t taken up by another fucking BMW!” He yelled out the window at the double parked, electric blue Beemer, “Then we’re gonna work out exactly what the fuck just happened. I thought you were never going back?”
I chewed on my lip as I thought about my response. I hadn’t even told Jay the full story yet and he was pissed at me. “Well, I wasn’t going to. You know he sent me that text a… There’s a car pulling out. Jay!” He yanked the wheel to the side so that we swerved around the Micra that was pulling out. Jay, being the cautious and pleasant driver that he is stuck an arm out and extended a middle finger as he rounded the bend to the ramp for the third time. “Look, can’t we just wait until tomorrow? I’m really not in the mood right now.”
“Got one!” He yelled in triumph, either having not heard or deliberately ignored me. “Do you want to talk, then get food or get food first?”
“I was just gonna go home, mate.”
“Food it is. Come on.” We jumped out of his stupid, red truck. He’d found it for a grand near Worcester and had spent almost as much just trying to keep the thing running. I slammed my door in with a groan. “Hey! Be careful. You know the window pops out if you don’t treat her gently.”
He’d always had a habit of naming his cars after ex-girlfriends. Almost poetic, as he tended to crash them all. The truck, he’d decided, was “Shauna, you know, after the big girl I spent the week with in Marbella?” I had no idea what he was talking about, but I just nodded so he’d stop.
We fought our way through the crowds of Saturday shoppers, all clamouring for the bargains with the January sales having started up. “Why did we come here?” I asked him as a family of four walked straight through the middle of us. “Surely you could have, excuse me,” I just avoided the lady who stopped in front of me, “Picked somewhere quieter?”
“Yeah, but this was the nearest place with a Burger King.” We were silent until we’d ordered food and got to the table in the corner.
“Look, I don’t even know where to start.”
“Try the reason you went down there in the first place?”
“Keira phoned me. Told me she wanted to see me. So I went down to her place and she was out of it. Apparently she’d called everyone she knew and I was the only one who went. She looked like she was on her way out, Jay. I had to do something.”
“So, I went to a place where somebody could help me. Where I knew somebody who could help me. Keira means that much.”
“You went to…”
“Yeah. I went to see Dad.”
The Idiot in Tin Foil