I am working from home today.
My boss rang twice to remind me about Saturday. No surprise there, he knows how I feel. I worked until lunch. I took my bike out for a ride and stopped at a greasy spoon, had the most amazing lunch. Spent an hour talking with an elderly lady who sat herself at my table. I think the universe is trying to push my buttons.
I managed to put my laundry on the line before I left. Should be dry by now. Stupid thoughts keep entering my mind. I decide on faded jeans, blue and white striped shirt for Saturday’s lunch.
I bike home on a full stomach, slower than when I had arrived. Why am I thinking about Saturday?
By rights, I should ring and cancel. I was beginning to feel itchy all over. Something didn’t feel right. I hung my bike on the hook in the hall, deciding to iron the laundry, clean house. If I didn’t know better, you would think I’m pregnant. Don’t worry, I not. The pill is a great liberator.
My mother would never have approved. Sex before marriage is not on. She was wonderfully old fashioned, dad too. You could say they were cast from the same mould, made for each other. Mum died aged 63, dad went soon after, leaving me alone. There are distant cousins, aunts I never knew. Didn’t need them then, nor now.
There isn’t a spot left to clean. I showered, retired early and tried to read a few chapters. The book was on the floor when I woke.
I barely had time to shower, have breakfast. One last chance to think. Without realising it, I was pulling on my jeans, white sneakers, ready to go.
This time, he sent his driver to fetch me.
Before finishing lunch, he asked if I would mind coming to his home. I could feel the itch gathering strength, even so, I said yes. Lunch was great, he knew how to make me feel relaxed.
I had agreed. The drive took two and half hours to Hampshire and a small mansion. Derek, the driver opened the door. I tried not to let my mouth hang open. I couldn’t see any houses nearby. This put my itch into overdrive. Again, with the thoughts. The man could be a serial killer for all I knew. I could feel the virtual shaking of the head, don’t be daft.
We went through the large hall to his office, worked for three hours. So far so good.
‘Are you hungry?’ He said
I said yes, as I felt peckish. He sent Derek out for Kentucky chicken. This surprised me, as I thought he would have a cook hidden away below stairs. Over a large bucket of chicken, I asked if Derek lived there.
Two males, in such an isolated place was beginning to make me uncomfortable. I was told he lived over the garage, which was down the drive by the gatehouse.
Thanks, this didn’t help me much.
‘Would you like a tour of the house?’
I did. The tour ended in his bedroom. There was the biggest bed I had ever seen. Why would someone with no partner to speak of, need a queen-sized bed?
When Derek entered the room through an adjacent door, the panic struck. I ran and kept running until I reached the highway.
The first car to slow down, was Peter. ‘Get in, let me drive you home.’
Ignoring him, I climbed the embankment, intending to walk through the woods. Reaching the top, I turned to see the car drive away.
Climbing down, hoping to hitch a ride, I started walking.
I should have listened to my itch, my rule about weekends.
He turned out to be a good-looking fraud.
A lorry pulled over. I had to take a chance. I had no money. I needed to go home, take a shower, wash the bad feeling away. Soothe my thoughts with the idea that I had a near miss.
I didn’t read it wrong, did I?
I hoped he wouldn’t pull his work from us. The boss had threatened to sack me if I messed up. Fingers crossed; he would send the rest of his work in by courier as many of our clients do.
Sunday was all mine, time to shake it all off. Monday was a new day, hoping I still had a job.
Maybe I will let you know tomorrow…
© Anita Dawes 2021
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