Doughboy 1 ...
If you want some 1 to blame, Lyndon is always puttin his hand up n askin to be picked on. When he is not pickin on me.
Am not complainin bout his idea to have food delivered, nothin rong there. Havin food provided* is always a good idea. You know how I like my lazy takeaways.
These days I dream bout havin a lazy takeaway, when I am lyin on the sofa watchin some tv chef, n sippin my protein shake thru a straw.
But listen, that night in the flat, even then I was thinkin, Wot is *goin on* here? There are bout 600 kebab shops n pizza parlours n Thai noodle bars on the road near his flat. The Pedros shop is miles away. Near my house. The only reason had to be that this Koobla Khan was his best friend n he wanted to put some business his way. So I thought that was that, n forgot bout it.
The buzzer went, Lyndon pressed the *Speak* button, the deliverer lady said who she was, who she was lookin for, Lyndon pressed the *Door* Button n told her wot floor we were on. Lyndon turnin round n smilin at me. All a bit too much happiness for my likin. The pair of us standin up waitin, not sittin down watchin the tv, standin in the hall like we were waitin for a lift, queuin by the door. A bit odd. Not even openin the door, just standin there waitin for her to knock.
She knocked on the door. Lyndon waited a moment like he was timin how long it wud take to walk from the kitchen, then he opened the door n gave her a big smiley hello, a big thank you for comin. A happy question bout the weather. Started askin her if she had had a nice journey over. In the rain.
She handed him the receipt n gave him a few mumbly words, hardly even lookin up, tappin at her pockets to find her change. Hopin to do a swift transaction. Not 1 for chattin.
From where I was standin she was just this female deliverer. I was just watchin to make sure the the food n money got handed over all correct. Did not hardly really notice her. She was like a checkout girl at the supermarket, you are more interested in packin your bag than checkin out her body parts.
It was a bit unusual that she was a woman, had a funny accent, n was not a Asian fellow, but it was not that weird n strange.
The world is full of foreign women.
She had her head down rootin round in the hot bag for the food. Remember noticin that she had very flat helmety hair. She had her helmet tucked under her arm. Some deliverers never take their helmets off for a entire 8 hour shift, so think she must have had a bit of a skid lid issue on that night. Like it was too tight or too big for her head. Like she needed to take it off whenever she cud. She was just sort of this deliverer person wearin a all-weather green, white n red striped Pedros bike jacket, n red plastic trousers. She was a female so I did have a look, but was not really payin any attention to her hairstyle or her happiness. There is no point in lyin n pretendin n makin things up now. Now that I know more facts bout her.
You wud have to notice her voice tho, talkin in that accent, in her slow take-her-time way. It was like she had all the words ready, but they were scrunched up in untidy piles inside her head, n she had to unfold em n iron em before she cud use em. So everythin came out neat n slow n like every word had been checked for truth. That kind of made me listen.
Other things that I know bout that night. It was after 8 coz the football had started. Cud hear em shoutin at the telly in the flat next door. It was February 13th coz of everythin that happened later. The flat was clean. Nixon was talkin bout books upstairs in a pub. Bridie was at yoga. You were where you are. Jesus was watchin but had not said hello yet, n Lyndon was makin a big smiley song n dance bout everythin. Invitin her in, bein Mr Happy Happy. Sayin stupid things. Pretendin he had lost his wallet. Askin her to come in while he found it, sayin that she was lettin all the cold air in. Sayin it like he was jokin. Not really sure wot he was xpectin to achieve. Tryin to chat her up. She was only interested in gettin paid n gettin out of there. Refusin to step into the flat. The more he was chattin n not givin her the money, the more she was gettin angry n lookin like she was gonna hit him.
"I will wait here. Can you please give me the money, sir."
Lyndon holdin the door open like he wanted to show her the clean flat. Showin her me standin in the hall starin back at her. A fat 15 year old in a baseball cap n black clothes. Both of us lookin a bit confused n worried.
"Come inside, Miss Pedros. Make you a drink, must be cold out there. No point in rushin is there? We can tell Koobla you broke down!" He was tryin to pull her in by the arm. She was sayin nothin. It was like he thought it was all a joke. Like she thought it was attempted robbery/rape/kidnap.
Then when she knew I was not gonna do anythin nice for her, she flicked a switch n changed her whole attitude.
"Sir, take your hand off me." Tryin to shrug his hand off. Her elbow goin out n almost biffin Lynd in the chest.
"Only bein friendly. Am a friend of your boss." Lyndon not seein the elbow, so like it never happened, everythin was still happy in his head. Turnin to smile at me, like he wanted me to be in on the joke. Then givin her a bigger smile, almost puttin his arm round her. "Come on, Missy, rainin out there. You be better off in here. Broken down, that is the story, ay? Engine conked out on the moped. Ha!"
He still had his hand on her arm so she gave him the elbow again, this time it made contact, thuddin up and into him, under his armpit, givin him a real oooof. Knockin him back. Knockin the breath out of him. She was screechin like a angry parrot, flappin her stripey wings, backin away from him, droppin the pizza bag n swingin her crash helmet. Her arm out straight ahead, wingin it round so he cud not get anywhere near her. Lyndon bent over recoverin from the elbow in the armpit.
"How did that go so rong?" Shakin his head. "I wanna blame you, but it was my fault."
"That never normally happens. I am charmin. Women are charmed by me."