Journey To Murder*

On the train to see my parentals and my fluffy.  The weather has turned cold and grey.  In my leopard print toenails, fit flops, leopard print coat, sunglasses black furry scarf, gloves and gym trousers, do not look mentally normal.  Can report that it’s not a good day for bare toes.  They have gone blue and numb.

Oh I miss my Seb already!  Fewer than twenty four hours is not enough time with him.  

“I have to be at my mother’s house at seven this evening,” he says at nine o’clock yesterday morning.  The smell of warm croissants pervades the flat: it’s such a treat.  He picked them up at Sainsbury’s the night before, but we are heating them up now in the oven, whilst watching Shame.  It’s about a sex addict and has graphic scenes of self harm, so is not ideal breakfast viewing, but is excellent.

“OK,” I say.  “What time do you need to leave?”

“About five thirty,” he says.

“Darling, if you have to be at your Mum’s at seven, you will need to leave around three, surely?” I say.

“Well,” he says. “It’s a couple of hours in the car, and…”

“You came here by train,” I point out.

“Oh yes, so I did,” he says.

“So you need to walk to the station here, ten minutes, then it’s what, half an hour or forty minutes to the station where you catch the overground, then at least an hour and forty minutes or so on the train,” I say.

Seb’s brow furrows with concentration.  He has never planned a journey, it seems.  This way of thinking about travel must be entirely new to him.

“It’s a Saturday,” I say, “so there may not be many trains and…” 

“I need to go home and get the car and then drive to Mum’s,” he says.

“So there’s the walk from your station to your flat, then finding the car.”  I say.  Last time he couldn’t remember where he’d left it and we were tramping the streets for about twenty minutes before we found it.  “Then it’s a forty minute drive to your Mum’s.  What my Mum always says is you’ve got to work backwards: decide what time you need to be somewhere, and then map all the different bits of the journey and how long each part will take and…”

“Wow, that’s so clever,” Seb says.  “I’ve never thought of that.  That’s brilliant.”

He’s not even taking the piss, I don’t think. It seems that he has simply never ever thought about how to get from one place to another on time.

“Right, so, I don’t see how you can do it in under three hours,” I say.  “Probably closer to four.”

“It’s OK, I’ll just be late,” he says.

“I don’t want to make you late for your Mum,” I say.  “Why don’t we look at the train times.”

“Why?” He says, taking a mouthful of a croissant.

“Well, we’re meant to be meeting Lily and Suzie later and I don’t want them to miss you: if you’ve left by the time they get here they won’t believe that you exist,” I say.  

Seb laughs.  “They think you’ve made me up?”

“Well they’ve never seen you,” I say.  “I’ve been banging on about you for ten years and yet they’ve never seen you.”

“Right,” he says.  “Tell them to come at three o’clock.”

So I do.  Next time you will find out what happened…

Have arrived at the parentals now and photographed the fluffy monster.  He is attached.

Happy Sunday everyone!

*2014.  By D.J. Owen.  “Plenty of murder, could even be overkill,” apparently.

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