Maurice pushed his car through the busy high street, for the second time in a month. With sleeves rolled up to their full extent and sweat dripping into his eyes, he cursed his life, his car, his job and above all, Maggie who was strolling along the pavement offering her opinions on his shortcomings.

“Did you listen to me when I told you that was a piece of crap? – No, you threw all commonsense to the wind and bought it anyway. All for the badge, the bloody badge. You should have gone for the Ford like I told you. Tony had it all ready and waiting at the garage, but no, you had to go for the bloody badge!” And so Maggie went on, and on and on.

Maurice ripped the handbrake on and wiped his forehead with his hairy arm. An unsympathetic BEEP from a car behind made him jump and curse again. He gently let the handbrake off and started to push. “Only a 100 yards and I’ll be at Bridge Road” he thought to himself as he trudged past Woolworths. “then, 2 maybe 300 yards to the lock up”. He brightened. Then, “well? Aren’t you going to say I was right after all, or is this going to be a regular event? Have I got to walk home every time you give me a lift in?” Maggie stomped off into the distance, her curly red hair looking even more brassy in the late afternoon sun.

Maggie had been 15 when Maurice first met her. He thought back as he shouldered the rusty old Lambourghini past Tesco Express. My God, she had been different then. Everything he did was magic (or was that a song?) He was her rock, her everything. They had married as soon as they were legally able, as both sets of parents disapproved. Unfortunately, after 7 years of marriage, no children had been forthcoming. As Maggie was oft to say, “Old Morrie fires blanks”. Maurice hated, yes actually hated her when she used this uncouth term for something he was so embarrassed by. BEEP – another blast from the rear exploded all thoughts from his mind.

He pulled the handbrake on again and glared at the driver overtaking him. A one fingered gesture came to mind but Maurice was too tired to bother with a possible confrontation. Thirsty and hungry, he slowly walked round the car towards the newsagents. He bought a coke,(deliberately choosing the Max version, Maggie always made him have sugar and caffeine free, maintaining that he was too overweight and stressed to drink anything else) then a pork pie and a lottery ticket.

Maurice made it to Bridge Road, fortified by the pie and caffeine hit. With the old banger safely under lock and key he trudged up the path to his front door and wearily let himself in. A note from Maggie was propped behind the carriage clock on the mantle, “gone to bingo – don’t wait up – tea’s in the microwave.” He flicked open the oven door, sniffed and grimaced at the pizza and beans so thoughtfully dolloped onto a plate and made his way upstairs. After a warm bath and pulling on his comfy velour tracksuit he so often wore indoors, Maurice ventured downstairs to the kitchen. He was hungry so he managed to eat his lovingly prepared meal, grabbed a can from the fridge and plonked himself into his armchair in front of the telly.

“Release the balls!” shouted the disembodied voice from the screen. “Shit!” Maurice scrambled up from his chair, ran upstairs and rummaged around in his discarded trousers. |Lottery ticket in hand he rushed back to the living room to grab a pen. Back to the chair, just in time to hear the numbers again. “1, 4, 7, 11, 30, and the bonus ball 31!”

Maurice drove his car through the high street for the sixtieth time that month. Up to Bridge Street, U turn, down again. Visiting all his old haunts on the way and stopping to chat to old friends and vague acquaintances, buffing the badge of his brand new Lambourghini every now and again.
“Maggie did you say? No, she had a small win at Bingo and did a runner.”


Janette  x

Joined April 2008

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