Frank Creasley was waiting at platform ten, Euston station, for his ‘charge,’ as it were, to arrive from Nottingham. Tomorrow, Mike Bellow was giving a key note speech at the company’s annual conference on “Cross-cultural implications – Trading with Eastern Europe and Beyond.” The “beyond” bit had been added to the title to give a bit of spin, but really, they were just talking about selling product to Hungary. Frank was not looking forward to the speech so it’s fair to say he was dreading the evening: he would far rather be at home relaxing with his wife, living the contented life, but work was work, and the mortgage must be paid; never mind his daughter’s university fees but he knew when his boss asked for a” favour,” it was really a command.
Both he and ‘Honoured Guest’ were in their mid-fifties and it was important not to embarrass the firm: he was determined to rise to the challenge. At last a surprisingly fit gentleman, with a dash of grey above each ear, strode towards him, attracted by the sign he was holding, and introduced himself. “Where’s the party eh” he said indicating that a night of celebration was required. “There is a nice Greek restaurant near here said Frank uneasily, which has some quite interesting fish-based dishes”. “Stuff that,” said our learned consultant, “Let’s go where the music plays. Get me to Funsville!” He stretched out the last word to show he was a guy who still liked to walk on the wild side.
Soon our two party-goers, one somewhat happier than the other, entered the vaults of the “Pavilion” nightclub and seated themselves at a table before ordering some bland meal at prices set without reference to quality. “Tacky” was the word which came to Frank’s mind, but Mike Bellow seemed strangely “At home” in these surroundings, and was soon leering at the young waitress who came to take their order.
Luck was on Frank’s side, it seemed, and Bellow, true to his name, appeared happy to talk all night while Frank listened, which should not be too challenging. “Oh yes,” said Bellow, “I had the night of nights yesterday. I was at some club, trying to look at a girl’s tits, you know what it’s like, and she came up to me and said, “You a pervert or something”, and I said, “You bet your life I am. How’s about some champagne?”
I think the girl was already a bit pissed: ‘In your face,’ is what I call it. Anyway, she matched me glass for glass. The more pervy I became, the more she laughed. It was brilliant: I love drunk tarts”
Frank had been to Nottingham on more than one occasion but knew little of the place. “Well, I can tell you this,” continued Bellow, “She was a goer. That girl could ‘ave taught Cleopatra a few tricks,” he said, taking a decent swallow and winking over his glass. “Oh yes sir, she ‘drained the bottle’ and then some if you follow me.”
“Sounds like fun”, said Frank, wishing the clock would get a move on, and allow him to part with his sordid companion. “She had a trick or two, “Carline” her name was, beautiful girl, curvy and with soft brown hair you could stroke all night” said Bellow and a chill went through Frank as he heard the name. Before he could say anything, Bellow handed over his phone to show a photograph of said Carline walking out of the bathroom: it was an unusual photograph of his daughter and showed a new side to her character.
“You sick bastard” said Frank, before leaning over and smacking his guest in the eye. The sacking the following morning was not unexpected, but the call from his daughter to her mother three weeks later was. Sitting in a bar near his home Frank reflected that “Life isn’t always what you make it. Sometimes other people make it for you”