Chapter Eight

TIM

Well what cool few days I’ve I’ve had.  A lovely family weekend in Wales and two dates with Sophie which went off like a dream.  It could have gone all the way, I think, that first night, she seemed totally mine when we were dancing.  I don’t regret that I didn’t.  I just felt I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to take advantage.  We saw each other the next night as well.  Just went for a drink at a pub where there’s live music on a Tuesday.  That was good too but I’m not sure whether the music was to Sophie’s taste.  The night was cute short as I had a call from my friend, Gordon, at 22:00 asking where I was as he was in Crewe and had come to stay with me.  He sounded in an awful state.  So rather than suggesting he came to the Slug and Lettuce I cut the date short and walked home to meet him.  Sophie who looked crestfallen  so I apologised to her and asked her out to dinner the following night. I had to get back as I didn’t want to inflict him on Chakka.

Gordon leapt out of his car when he spotted me coming towards him.  I hoped he hadn’t been waiting long.  We shook hands in the street and between us we took his two huge cases into the lounge.  He came into the kitchen as I made coffee and told me his troubles.  His girlfriend, Emily, had kicked him out of their flat.  He was completely skint as he’d spent all his money doing up the flat they shared.  I let him rant on as we moved into the lounge.  I tried to get him to talk quietly as I didn’t want to disturb Chakka.  He was very angry and thought Emily had deliberately let him pay for the improvements even though she intended finishing with him.

“Gordon,” I asked,”who owns the flat?”

“Well we own it together.  We bought it as tenants in common.”

“So she can’t really kick you out if it’s half yours.”

“No but she has and she’s changed the locks.”

“OK then you must contact a solicitor.  As I understand it, she will either have to buy you out or sell it.  Either way you will get your money back.”

“That’s all very well but how do I live meanwhile?  I mean I haven’t enough money to even rent a bed sit.  They all want a damage deposit.”

“Have you discussed this with Emily?  What happened?”

“I went to work this morning and Emily texted me at lunchtime to tell me she’d finished with me and changed the lock to our flat.  I tried and tried calling her but she wouldn’t answer.  I went round to the flat and she didn’t answer until |I’d given up and was walking back to my car.  Then she just shouted at me and told me to collect my stuff.  She’d packed my clothes into my two suitcases and she dumped them outside the front door.”

“Wow!  What a bitch!  What had you done to deserve that?”

“I went off with another girl at a party last Saturday.  I was drunk and we went upstairs to find a vacant bedroom and ended up screwing on the bathroom floor.  I’m not entirely sure how she found out.  I think I’d forgotten to lock the door and someone saw us hard at it.”

“Right.  So she had good cause to be angry with you.”

“Yes, I know.  I said I was sorry and I promised it wouldn’t happen again but she wanted me to promise to give up alcohol and I refused.  She said she couldn’t rely on me, that the trust had gone and she hated me.”

“Well you have had bust ups before and got through them.  Just kip here for a couple of days, text her telling her how sorry you are and how much you love her and that you won’t get drunk again.”

I gave him my sleeping bag, yoga mat and one of my pillows and persuaded him to go to sleep on my bedroom floor.  In the morning I gave him a spare key and told him he could meet me at work at lunchtime.  He didn’t wake up before I left for work and didn’t show at lunchtime.  I had texted Chakka earlier warning her about Gordon and as I was rather anxious as I’d invited Sophie for dinner that evening I asked her to join us too.  I thought the distraction might mean Gordon would not get too maudlin and I didn’t fancy just the three of us for the evening.  I wasn’t sure whether Sophie would be put off by Gordon but I couldn’t let him down.

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