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Fiction Rally – Part Five

27 August, 2014

Jennifer and Daniel are on a train. Jennifer’s purse isn’t. Lilly is her in her flat. Daniel isn’t. To find out more, visit the Summary page here. To read on, read on…

 

 

PART FIVE

 

The smaller of the two gold hands on Lilly’s watch was now straying towards the four, beginning to obscure the end letters of the manufacturer’s very exclusive, very expensive Swiss name. Lilly placed the empty martini glass on the kitchen counter for her underpaid Latvian maid to clean and tidy away, and picked up her phone. Being kept waiting, being kept uninformed as to why she was being kept waiting, was not only rude, not only disrespectful, it was boring. She had places she needed to be. Well, that wasn’t strictly true, her day was empty, but she was not prepared to sit indoors waiting for projects like Daniel to arrive, or at least to call her.

She selected Daniel’s name. ‘Time is money,’ she tapped into her phone, ‘Every minute you keep me waiting is another week I own you.’

The door clicked quietly closed as she left the penthouse. With a perfectly-manicured finger, she called the lift.

 

***

 

“You can be honest with me,” Daniel said, sliding to the aisle seat opposite Jennifer, “did you really buy a ticket or was that great acting?” He was almost certain he knew the answer, but he needed to keep up the Strangers on a Train pretence. “I really did buy a ticket,” Jennifer said as she re-packed her bag, “I really did lose my purse, and I really will now have to spend hours on the phone sorting out new cards and a new driving licence.”

“Not what you had in mind for your day in London, right?”

“No,” Jennifer confirmed with a wry smile, “but I didn’t really have anything planned anyway.”

“Oh?” Daniel asked. She was a talker, all she needed was a few prompts and before they were at Basingstoke she would have told him her life story. Which he already knew, but the more he asked, the less she asked.

“I’m going to surprise my Dad later when he finishes work, but the rest of the day is… open.” As is the rest of my life, she thought. The last of the possessions she had brought away with her were back in the bag now, and she slid the zips closed, lifted the bag to the window seat. She took the aisle seat, and closed her eyes, breathed deeply. She had lost her purse, true, but there was nothing that couldn’t be renewed. The cards and driving licence would be replaced by the issuers, the cash by her father, and as for the membership to her local gym and the discount card for the nail bar opposite work – well, she wouldn’t be needing either of those again anyway. And thanks to the kind stranger, she wasn’t going to be thrown off the train either. No need to stress now, no need to worry.

She opened her eyes, turned to Daniel. When she had been frantically searching, she had only seen a vague, person-shaped blur, but now that worry had subsided, she saw him for the first time. A better-than-average-looking man, she decided, the shirt he wore open-necked was expensively-tailored, his smartly-styled dark hair hadn’t been cut at a local barbers.

“He lives in London then?” Daniel asked, “your Dad?”

“Most of the time,” Jennifer said, “He goes away quite a bit for work.”

“What does he do?”

“To be honest I’m not completely sure. Some sort of import/export, he spends a lot of time on the phone tying up deals in different languages.”

“And what do you do?”

Jennifer raised an eyebrow, shrugged. “As of today, nothing. I walked out on my job yesterday.”

“That’s dramatic.”

“I had to get away. From work, from the town, from the people I was mixing with, from…” she paused, self-censoring. “From everything.” She inspected her nails, sighed.

“But don’t worry,” she said quickly, “I can pay you back. I’ll get the money from my Dad tonight and I can get it to you.”

“There’s no rush.”

“Oh but there is, I don’t like owing anybody.”

“It’s only three hundred quid.”

“I know but I don’t like to feel obliged, to know that someone else has a part of your life, however small, you know?”
Daniel’s phone chirped in his pocket, and he took it out. A text from Lilly. He opened and read it. Time is money. An ironic smile crossed his face. Did he know how it felt to owe, to be obliged? He never felt any other way.

“So shall we meet up later tonight so I can pay?” Jennifer asked, “I’ll be in the West End, do you know the White Lion in Covent Garden?”

“Who doesn’t?”

“Great, what’s your number?” Jennifer took her phone from her bag and typed the digits as Daniel told her. Her finger paused over the screen. “I don’t even know your name,” she grinned.

“Alex,” Daniel said without a pause. Jennifer entered his name, reciting each letter as she tapped them.

“Okay Alex, I’ll text you later.”

 

 

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5 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on joannebest and commented:
    Fiction Rally Part 5 is up and as usual, TRG has got my fingers itching to work on the next part. Please, enjoy, I most certainly did!

  2. Love Love Love the little blurb before the link to the Summary page! 😀 Now times that by 5 and that’s how much I love Part 5! Once again, you’ve inspired me to write, many humble thank you’s for that. Loving the interactions between Jennifer and ‘Alex’ and I adore the bitch potential of Lilly 😀

    Thank you, just thank you.
    xox

    Ideas a’brewing already 😉

  3. I’ve missed your fiction fun

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