Sleep, as it happened, was the last thing he did when he went to bed that night. He lay there awake thinking about Corrine and let his imagination go wild. What was occurring as he lay there in the pitch black was similar to a cartoon. A cartoon where the cartoon character, which now was Jimmy, would have a smaller version of itself perched on either shoulder giving him advice. Generally one would depict his darker, bad side and the other his lighter, good side. With Jimmy it wasn’t good versus bad it was more like a small, very small, version of him which wanted to do something on impulse versus the huge version of him, sat on the opposite shoulder glaring menacingly over, who wanted to do everything methodically, giving it long hard thought and never rushing in to anything.
The argument was raging;
“You are only chatting to her!” exclaimed little Jimmy.
“But she’s married!” retorted big Jimmy.
“It’s only email.” said little Jimmy and added rather weakly “and she seems nice.”
“What happens when her husband finds out?” thundered big Jimmy.
“He’s two thousand miles away!” mocked little Jimmy “You think he’s going to pop over and give you a slap?”
“No! But he might give her one, thick shit!”
“Oh, yeah.” said little Jimmy feeling his argument slipping away.
“And she hasn’t exactly had a good past record has she?” big Jimmy added pushing home his advantage.
“But you are only chatting to her.” little Jimmy repeated clutching at straws.
“You can’t keep using that as an argument!” countered big Jimmy, who now was sniffing victory as usual. Then as he was ready to move in for the kill Jimmy was pulled from his thoughts as he heard one of the boys getting out of bed.
Jimmy sat up to go and check on his son and as he did so both of the images on his shoulders disappeared in a puff of smoke, but as he stood up he heard big Jimmy in his ear saying, in an Arnie-esque accent, “I’ll be back!”
George had got up to use the toilet and after Jimmy checked he was ok and settled him back into bed decided as he was up he might as well put the kettle on. While he waited for it to boil he started up the computer and soon he was settled in front of it drinking tea and checking his emails. In amongst the spam was another email from Corrine. Before he read it he did some mental maths, if it’s 2 here must be 9 over there, he worked out with the use of his fingers! She had written again because in his previous email Jimmy had asked about her house and she had forgotten to tell him about it.
The house was built on a private road set back from the main road and was one of three in a cul-de-sac. Their road started on a steep incline, which was treacherous in bad weather, then levelled out to reveal her house about 50 metres from the top of the slope. Just beyond the house was some hard standing where they parked the cars then there was a large garage/workshop which also belonged to them. The road then curved gently of to the left where spaced equidistantly were two other houses of a similar style.
Corrine went on to explain that her current husbands’ (Jimmy liked “current husband” as if number four was waiting in the wings) daddy (Daddy! What sort of grown man called his father daddy?) Was, in her words, a big wheel in the town. Daddy is Adam senior; she had elaborated, and is one of the last rich men in town whose money is “old money”. He was the last in a long line of furniture manufacturers who had anticipated the downturn and got out while the going was good. He had re-invested wisely and was worth a fortune, some of which he had spent to buy Adam junior a new home.
Well apparently what he had done was to buy the land, have the three houses built then sell two of them. The money he made from selling the two houses paid for the land and all the building work, so in fact the house he gave his son cost him nothing! Money goes to money Corinne had said and Jimmy wasn’t sure if she was bitter or not.
Corrine went on to say that the land behind the house did not belong to them but was farmland that had remained fallow for a number of years even though the farmer regularly ploughed it. The girls had mini motos which they loved to ride across the field.
The garage/workshop was situated between her house and the other two and this gave them a reasonable amount of privacy of which she was grateful. Corrine thought it was an eyesore though and it was of no actual benefit to her, in fact to her it was out of bounds! This was Adams “private place” where he hung out with his buddies and tinkered with car engines. He had paid to have air con installed and had a large fridge, probably full of beer, and even had cable run from the house but tried to keep the whole thing very secret. He wouldn’t let Corrine anywhere near the place and when he went out he locked it and wouldn’t give her a key. She had said she didn’t care as all the time he was there he wasn’t near her and Jimmy guessed that made sense.
Corrine went on to say that one set of neighbours kept themselves to themselves but the other ones were a single dad and his disabled son who were forever knocking on her door. He was constantly asking her to look after his son while he just went here or just went there. Corrine did mind a bit but she did know if she had a problem with Adam junior she had somewhere she could run to, or at least hoped she did.
After Jimmy had finished reading he read it over again then after looking at the shoulder where big Jimmy had been sat earlier he raised his middle finger in defiance and started penning a reply. As he typed the first couple of words he was sure he heard in his ear, “You’ll be sorry!”
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