This Man

Page 53

‘Bloody hell!’ I’m catapulted into the air, landing with an almighty thud. ‘Kate!’

She’s laughing hard now, only serving to piss me off more. ‘Sorry!’ she gasps.

‘No, you’re not.’ I grate, pulling myself up again. I kick my heels off to try and get a better balance.

‘Oh, no,’

I blow my hair out of my face. ‘What?’

‘I’m not reversing mister!’ she hisses.

I spot a Jaguar driving at us and with only enough width for one vehicle and no space to pull in, it’s a standoff. A string of loud car horns start singing out around us as Kate proceeds forward, knocking me all over the place in the back of Margo.

‘I’ll ram you,’ she warns Mr Jaguar, smacking her horn repeatedly. ‘Is the cake okay?’

‘Yes! Don’t you dare let him win,’ I yell, landing on my backside again. ‘Shit!’

‘Hang on, only two more to go.’

‘Oh God!’

Two jolts later and probably another two more bruises on my behind, we’re double parked and unloading the stupid five tier cake. Mr Jaguar is honking, cursing and throwing hand gestures all over the place, but we ignore him. My feet are still bare as I help Kate out with the cake, delivering it into the massive kitchen of Mrs Link, who’s throwing a sweet sixteen for her daughter. I leave Kate to sort the rest and go back to Margo to wait for her, ignoring the car horns as I look for my shoes in the back. They could be anywhere.

Noel Gallagher invades my eardrums, singing Sunday Morning Call from the front seat and my heart – which is currently hammering through exhaustion – starts hammering an excited drum in my chest. I abandon shoe searching to scramble to the front and answer, ignoring the reasons for my keenness to speak to him.

‘Hey,’ I puff down the phone, jumping out and slumping against the side of Margo. I’m f**king knackered!

‘Okay. Now, I know it’s not me that’s worn you out, so do you mind telling me who has you puffing and panting like you’ve been f**ked into next week?’

I smile. Oh, his voice is a welcome distraction from the fiasco of the last twenty minutes.

‘What’s with all the car horns?’ he asks.

‘I’m delivering a cake with Kate, we’re blocking the road.’ I explain, but I’m distracted by an overweight, balding, middle aged businessman approaching with a face like thunder.

‘Move the van, you stupid f**king cow!’ he bellows at me, waving his arms about.

Oh shit. Kate, hurry up!

‘Who the FUCK is that?’ Jesse yells down the phone.

‘No one,’ I blurt.

Big baldy kicks Margo’s tyre. ‘Move it, bitch!’ Oh hell, he’s a mad middle aged, balding man.

I hear Jesse growl. ‘Tell me he didn’t just say that.’ His voice is sadistic.

‘It’s fine. Kate’s coming now.’ I lie on a squeak.

‘Where are you?’

‘I don’t know, somewhere in Belgravia.’ I didn’t really take much notice. I was too busy being flung around in the back of Margo to take notes of street names.

Big baldy shoves me. ‘Are you f**king deaf, you stupid bitch?’

Oh shit, he’s going to crack me one. I can hear Jesse hyperventilating down the phone, but then he’s gone. I glance at my screen and see the call has ended. Snapping my head up, I look towards the steps that lead to Mrs Link’s house, but the front door is still firmly closed. I’m shoved in the back again by Baldy.

‘Please, give me five minutes.’ I plead with the irate twat. If Kate was here, he would be on his arse by now.

‘Just move the f**king shed, you dopey cow!’ he roars in my face, making me recoil.

I run onto the pavement, stepping on every stray stone on my way, and up the steps to Mrs Link’s front door.

‘Kate!’ I knock frantically, turning and smiling sweetly at Mr Baldy Jag, earning myself another torrent of abuse. This guy needs anger management. ‘Kate!’ I shout, banging again. Car horns are blaring all around, I’ve got the angriest man I’ve ever encountered hurling abuse at me, my arse is sore and my feet are being stabbed by f**king stones! ‘KATE!!!’ My throat is bloody sore now too. But then I have a thought. Has she left the keys in Margo? I gingerly run down the steps, back onto the street to check Margo’s ignition, going around the back to avoid baldy.

It would seem that he’s not so willing to let me evade him, though, and I collide with his fat, sweaty body as I reach the driver’s door. ‘Oh!’ I cry, getting a waft of stale body odour.

He grabs the top of my arm, squeezing hard. ‘If you don’t move that f**king thing now, I’ll slap your skinny arse all over this street.’

I lean back against the van as he tightens his hold on my arm to a point, so painful, I want to cry out. He’s a f**king psycho! I’m going to be bludgeoned on a posh, leafy residential street in posh Belgravia and be plastered all over tomorrow morning’s news. I’m never going to talk to Kate again. I feel my eyes welling up with panicky tears as I’m pinned to the side of Margo with not a clue what to do. This is an aggressive type – a wife beater, for sure.

‘Get your f**king hands off her!’

The roar that pierces the air around me, blocking out all car horns and London traffic, makes my knees buckle with relief. I turn towards the direction of the most welcome voice I’ve ever heard and see Jesse running down the middle of the road, in his suit, looking murderous.

Oh, thank God! I don’t know where he’s come from, and I couldn’t care less. The relief that washes over me is overwhelming. I’ve never been so glad to see anyone in my life, and the fact that it’s a man I’ve known barely a week should be telling me something.

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