I snap him up for a steal at twenty-five quid.
(If you missed the start of this, please feel free to scroll down a post.. )
Oooooh I’m so, so excited, I’m virtually beside myself, and can barely wait to cart him home. ‘Cept, um, I hardly reckoned on doing that literally.
"What do you mean, you don't deliver?"
(I ask you, who waltzes off with a seven foot, stuffed gorilla tucked under their arm?)
"Sorry. Don't you girls have some means of transport?"
(Ha, like a two seater sports car is likely hack it. We sure could make good use of a van, but living as I do only a mere hundred yards along the way, it seems ludicrous to go to all the trouble of hiring one.)
Smiling sweetly, eyes batting, I give it my best shot, “How about if we make you a nice cup of tea..?"
"I've already got a girlfriend."
(Indignantly) "Sure, and as if I fancied the likes of you, anyway!"
Defeated, I turn to plan two - the wondrous Nettie. "Fancy giving me a hand?"
"No fecking way."
(Ungrateful urchin, is that any way to talk to your boss?)
"I'll pay you."
"Stuff yer money. A day off."
"I want me life back.."
(Oh shite, so that’s her game. She strikes a hard bargain, that one. Earlier in the week I'd vetoed her bunking off work for a long weekend jaunt to Glastonbury.)
“..And a ride to the station!”
A little negotiation later, Nettie metamorphoses in to my fairy of good fortune, setting about harassing Mr-Loved-Up-With-A-Girlfriend to lend us his trolley. (Now, when I say a trolley, I mean this in the loosest of terms. It has two wheels and a platform, with a pair of extended metal bars to grab and steer it by.)
“Aw c’mon now,” say’s she, “We’ll have it back to you within the hour, tops! ”
As we still have that massive dining table and eight chairs stacked and waiting to be lugged home, it's unlikely we’ll do a runner, so he gracious(less)ly concedes to release it to us.
It takes all three of us to load him up, me holding the trolley, and both Mr. Loved-Up-With-The-Girlfriend and Nettie to lift him on board. Facing him out and tipped backwards, and with Nettie charged to keep him in place, we stagger out to the street and slap bang into the rush hour.
It might not have been so bad if it were not for all those bumpy kerbs along the way. The pavement proves impossible to navigate, and he almost immediately bounces off the contraption, to land up sprawled mid-way across the the Lower Richmond road, bringing all the traffic to an instant halt.
Talk about embarrassing.
A couple of bewildered drivers eventually help out. It draws quite a crowd.
From here on out we wisely keep to the more level surface of the road, blithely ignoring all the blaring horns and accompanying wise-cracks as we go. Painstakingly, we steer him along the route towards my end of terraced house, and with much relief, eventually make it safely home.
I chose to christen him Peter, because he bore a striking resemblance to an old friend of mine, Peter-the-Bouncer. Way, way back in my days of living in penury, at the tender age of nineteen, I’d worked weekends as a Bunny Girl at Stringfellow’s club, “Rockafella’s”. Peter had worked the floor there as our appointed guardian angel, swiftly ejecting any would be groper’s and troublesome drunks who chanced their luck. I thought his name a perfect choice to bestow upon my lovely new friend.
As time passed, Peter took on a personality all of his own. He lived in the hall, earning his keep by minding the coats and hats of visiting friends. He also joined in at every party I threw, held his own drink, and always dressed beautifully for each occasion. He obligingly posed for photographs with all and sundry, each of which I lovingly collected and pasted into his own personal photograph album.
Everyone loved Peter, so much so, he sometimes boarded out when I went away. Several friends occasionally took it in turns to house him over my absences, good-naturedly carting him half-way across London (strapped to the roof of a car) so as he could enjoy his own little adventures outside of home.
He always sent me a postcard (as I also did to him), all of which were saved and used to paper the far corner of his abode, providing a lovely record of our various mis-adventures and happy exploits.
(Personally, I think some of his claims were wildly exaggerated, but I never called him on it.)
Peter and I lived in harmony together for over eight blissful years. I’d planned on us growing old side-by-side, and of spending our twilight days in the comfort of a mutual companionship, swapping a fond memory and the occasional mothball between us.
Alas, this proved not to be.
Another (far more treacherous) male entered my life, one I promised to wed. We bought a new home together, and I placed my own up for sale. Peter and I, plus all our other worldly goods, moved into the new abode, looking forward to beginning this exciting new chapter in our lives.
We (my intended and I) never did make it up the aisle.
After the break-up, I made a quick exit, leaving with little more than my clothes, I intended to return for the remainder of my things once the dust had settled. In the interim, My Ex reset the code on the burglar alarm, denying me access. Not that that stopped me of course, but when I couldn’t re-set the sodding alarm, the police soon did.
They told me it was a civil matter, possession being nine-tenths of the Law and all that. Besides, by now my Ex had obligingly arrived with several buddies in tow.
Sure, I could have pursued it, but frankly sometimes it's easier to just walk away.
He may have kept Peter, my photographs, and virtually everything else I once owned, but at least I left with my dignity and self-worth intact.
So I took my old place off the market, and (at the disgust of my solicitor) agreed to sign my share of the new one over to him. Considering all, it was a small price to pay for his riddance.
Well, almost so.. were it not for the loss of my dearest Peter.