I hate the fact that I suffer from hay fever. The long sneezing fits, the runny nose, the itchy eyes all combine to make me a very grumpy old Hector.
This morning, the hay fever was so bad that I decided to take the last pill in the packet of the hay fever remedy.
Seeing the world through streaming eyes, I struggled to the medicine cabinet and withdrew the little blue box before pausing for a sneezing fit. I got myself a glass of water and paused to blow my nose.
Then, withdrawing the last little white pill from the box, I placed it on my tongue.
Another sneezing fit hit. The little white pill was projected out of my mouth, bounced off the kitchen window and vanished. Finding the thing through streaming eyes was a real pain, but eventually I did.
Such was the ferocity of this particular hay fever attack, I still took it. I hope it works!
Anyway, here is part 46 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
There is another quiz question associated with the part number. I’d never heard of the artists or the song, but trust me, it is worth listening to the answer.
OK, the quiz question out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
Rosa was setting a large table when Jones entered; she carried a tray of cutlery on her lap as she wheeled herself around the table. It was only when she turned at the top of the table that she noticed Jones.
“Hello, Guv!” Rosa gave a smile that made her eyes glisten, even in the gloomy back room. “I’m glad that you came. It’s been a while. How are you?”
“I’m fine” Jones walked over to Rosa, bent at the knees and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “More importantly, mind, how are you?”
“All things considered, not so bad.” Rosa gave a weak smile and a shrug.
Taking a handful of cutlery from the tray on Rosa’s lap, Jones started to help lay out the table. The two of them lapsed into gossip about the police and reminisces. Occasionally, Rosa shot Jones a quizzical glance, which, if Jones noticed, he chose to ignore.
With the table laid, Rosa spun her chair round to face Jones.
“So, why are you here?” Rosa glared at Jones.
“I was just passing and I thought I’d pop in and say hello.” Jones moved round the table, pulled out a chair and sat down.
“So just a social call?” Rosa sneered and crossed her arms. “Not here on business?”
“If you’re still on that ludicrous guilt trip of yours, well, forget it, I can’t remember anything more than I’ve already told you hundreds of times. The truth is, I don’t want to remember. Face reality, guv. Some things are best left alone.”
“That’s not why... I was just passing...” The words trailed away from Jones as he faced Rosa’s anger.
Rosa gave a snort. “Sure you were. You’ve come over here to give your sympathy to the cripple and try and do something about that misplaced guilt of yours.”
“Cripple? I’ve never considered you...”
“Why not? Everyone else does!” Rosa cut him off. “It’s got to the point where I can’t go out in this bloody chair without some gang of thugs taunting me and tipping me out of it into the gutter. At first, that was why I thought you came, but no, you are still hung up on the past.”
“Tipped you out of your chair?” Jones stood up. “What morons would do something like that?”
Rosa gave a sarcastic laugh and shook her head. “You didn’t even know did you? So much for looking after your own.”
“I didn’t know. When did this happen?”
Rosa shook her lip and curled her lip. “Don’t patronise me! You better go. You’ve obviously got more important things in your life than to worry about me.”
“I want to help.” Jones bent down and put an arm around Rosa’s shoulder.
“Just go!” Rosa shrugged the arm of vigorously. “I don’t want your pity!”
Jones stood there and looked at Rosa. She shuddered with rage. Her face was flushed and there was a sheen on her brow. Her dark brown eyes flashed.
Jones turned and left.
As he passed through the restaurant, he heard a man’s voice calling out his name. He didn’t break stride and kept his eyes fixed on the door. Once into the street, he headed back towards his Datsun.
“Inspector!” the sound of a breathless shout rose above the sound of running footfalls.
Jones turned and found himself facing the priest.
“I thought perhaps you may have mislaid the original.” The priest smiled and handed Jones his card. “Whenever you want to talk, please get in touch. Any time.”
Jones stared at the priest with open eyes and mouth. The priest gave another smile before returning to the restaurant.