The Flat Share


Chapter 7 

“Joanie, hiya, what’re you doing here?”

“I was down the road at the clinic; I haven’t seen you for a week so I thought I’d pop in.  You okay?”

“Yeah, you what’re you doing at the clinic, you’re not sick are you?”

“Nah, just the usual – you know the old poke and pootle.”

“Eurgh, bet you could do with a drink.”

“Yeah, not half.  Can I just pop up to the loo, sort myself out.”

“Yeah, yeah go on, I’ve got some white wine, that okay?”

“Oh, smashing, I would have brought something but there’re no shops between the torture chamber and here.”

“Go on ya mad bugger, I’ll pour a glass…

***

“That better?”

“Yeah, all sorted.  So, what’s with you having wine in the fridge on a weekday, not turnin’ into an alkie are you?”

“Oh, well, I bought a couple of bottles the other night.”

“Flash sod.  You come into money?”

“Um.”

“Charlie, what’s going on?”

“What, how d’ya mean.  Going on, nothing, here, have your wine, crisps.”

“Charlie, I know you, know that look.  There’s something goin’ on.  Y’know I’ll find out so you might as well tell me.  Have you won the lottery, what?”

“No, no course not – oh well, all right, I was going to tell you anyway, course I was but it’s all been so odd and I thought you’d start goin’ off on one ,the way you do.”

“Come on, what have you done now – and what d’ya mean goin’ off on one.”

“Oh, well you know, sometimes you do get a bit, you know stroppy.”

“Only ‘cos I care about you, come on Charlie you know you get yourself into stuff.  There was that time you tried to buy that motor scooter, you know you’d have killed yourself the first time you went out on it, then there was that bloke with the tattoos who wanted you to work in his shop, well, ‘nuff said about that.  Thing is where would you be without me to watch out for you.  So, tell me what you’ve gone and done now.”

“Bloody hell you can be a patronising bitch.”

“Charlie.”

“What.”

“Oh, all right, I was going to tell you, course I was but it’s all been a bit – erm – well weird to be honest.”

“Weird?”

“Yeah.”

“Go on then, pour me some more wine and then fill me in, and I shall leap in and rescue you in my usual Super Hero fashion.”

“Prat – Well, okay.  You know I’ve been short of money lately, I mean really, really short.”

“You haven’t gone and borrowed some have you, idiot, you should have asked me.  Oh my God what sort of interest, you prat.  Oh honestly Charlie.”

“No, no, see now that’s what I mean, you always jump to conclusions.  I haven’t borrowed anything from anybody.”

“Oh! Well, good then.”

“No, but what I did do, well I didn’t really think it through I admit.  It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing and then it sort of took of without me and now I’m beginning to think that it was a mistake, but on the other hand she is very nice and she did give me money and really she hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s just not the way that I expected it to be.”

“Who? What did? What isn’t?  You’re not making any sense at all.  Who are you talking about?”

“Samantha, well Sammy, she likes to be called Sammy, not that there’s been much chance to call her anything, she hasn’t been here.”

“Who the hell is Samantha?”

“My flat mate.”

“You’re what?  Shit Charlie.”

“I know.”

“Oh, come on don’t cry.  Sorry I didn’t mean to shout, I was just shocked really, I mean, a flat mate.  You never said anything about looking for a flat mate.  I know somebody in work, really lovely and she’s been looking for somewhere for ages, oh bloody hell why didn’t you say?”

“Well, it was a kind of spur of the moment thing, I was so fed up with having no money and all and so I put a card in the newsagents and really, I was going to take it out again, but she rang before I had chance and then she had the money and she’s had such a rotten time and it just sort of snowballed.”

“Where is she then, this Samantha?”

“Sammy.”

“Sammy, Flammy bloody Whammy, where is she?”

“Well that’s it you see, she’s never been here, not one night.  I did think that she came the other night but then she hadn’t and there were these boxes.”

“Boxes?”

“Yeah, in her room, but she wasn’t.”

“Show me.”

“What.”

“Show me the boxes.”

“I can’t, they’re in her room.”

“Well you must have been in.”

“Yeah but I was taking her coffee.”

“I thought she wasn’t there.”

“She wasn’t”

“So, why were you taking her coffee.”

“To be friendly.”

“Shit Charlie.”

“I know.”

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