Being Tony, Chapter 11, Part 8

 

I just sat at my desk, stunned, for a long time. Eventually, Peggy came in and asked if I was OK, and did I need anything. I said I was fine, although it was evident, I’m sure, that I was as far from fine as it was possible to be. She told me everyone had gone home, and that she really needed to lock up, so I got up and followed her to the side door. It was dark outside, and I stopped, confused for the moment because I did not know where I was or what I was doing.

“Tony,” Peggy’s voice jolted me back to the present “are you going to be OK? Do you want me to drive you home? Or do you want to go for a drink and talk about it?”

I looked at Peggy and then at the car keys in my hand. “I’ll be OK,” I told her. “I had a shock, but it’s all going to be okay, really it is,” I smiled the best smile I could. “Thanks for locking up, I’ll see you in the morning.”.

“But Tony, your vacation” Peggy started to say, but I’d already got into my car, and heard the motor purring. I slipped the clutch and drove into the night. I knew what I needed to do, and drove carefully into the countryside. Once far from other traffic, I stood on the gas and heard my jag roar into life. Taking the first bend with tires screaming I felt that intoxicating rush that only comes from danger.

But even that didn’t calm me, and I drove until I got to the coast, then found an isolated dark spot in the sand dunes. Turning off the engine, I was suddenly surrounded by a black wall of silence, into which I cried out my soul hurt. Eventually, I fell asleep there in the front seat of my car, and the next thing I knew dawn was breaking around me.

I started back towards home, but just before I got there, I turned off and stopped at High Street News. I got a postcard, wrote it, and asked that it be put in the window. The Shop assistant read the card out loud. “Free. Two first class tickets for a week in South Africa, flight and accommodation included. Leaving tomorrow. First come first served.” He looked at me suspiciously. “Is this some kind of windup?” he asked.

I assured him it wasn’t, and routing around in my wallet I found what I was looking for. “Here,” I said “Here are the flight tickets and the hotel itinerary. You keep them behind the counter and whoever wants them can have them.” With that, I left the bewildered shop assistant to do as he wanted, got back in the car and went home to shower and change.

After all, I had a store to manage.

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About Derek Knight

Transplanted Brit, now in the US Mid West | Writer, blogger & author | passionate about life | Traveler and home body | amazon.com/author/derekknight | http://derekknight007.wordpress.com/ | https://twitter.com/DerekKnight1 | https://www.facebook.com/Derek.Knight.Author
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