A Good Day (2003)
A Good Day is a scene I wrote in 2003 when on a short creative writing course at Gloucestershire Collage (then called GlosCat).
What a day, I thought as I turned the corner of Mayfair Street. How can finding a job be so hard? I looked up at the passing shops and offices as I approached the Albion Tavern for my daily drowning of sorrows. ‘I’ll find a job soon’ I thought to myself, but who was I kidding! Nothing ever changed in this town, always the same old faces with the same old wives and of course, the same old landlord – Jack.
“Hey Jack,” I said as I approached the bar.
“How’s the job hunt going?”
“Still no luck,” I replied, reaching for my wallet. I took my regular seat at the end of the bar.
“What’ll it be then, the usual?”
I nodded and lit a cigarette. My eyes scanned the room, and I caught a glimpse of a woman sat alone, sipping on a glass of wine and oh, she was beautiful. Her face is new to me; I hadn’t seen her here before.
“Here you go mate,” said a voice next to me. It was Jack with my pint.
“Ah, cheers mate,” I replied, lifting the brew to my lips. I turned my head slightly and peered over the glass at the woman. Still she sat there, quiet, reserved, alone!
Sod it. I necked half a pint, straightened my collar, then climbed down off the bar stool and began to make my way over. I got half way…. Damn; she clocked me.
“Hi there,” she said, flashing me a smile. My god, she smiled at me. She smiled at me! No, be cool Tom, be cool mate. I cleared my throat as I approached her table. “Hi, I’m Tom,” I said as I held out my hand.
“Mary,” she replied, shaking it.
“So,” I began, taking the seat across from her. “Forgive me for being nosey, but….” I paused for words.” This is only a small town, and I thought I knew everyone, but you, I haven’t seen you around before.”
She grinned. “We just moved here today.”
“My husband and me.”
“My husband and I arranged to meet here at seven o’clock when he’d finished work, but as usual, he’s late.” She said smiling and rolling her eyes.
We chatted for a while longer and, oh baby, did we click. What a woman she was, what a wife.
“What’s this!” A voice bellowed behind me.
“Who’s this guy?” It was her husband, and he did not look happy. “I’ve been working my bollocks off all afternoon, and I come back to find you flirting with the bloody locals!”
It was too late to prevent a scene. All I could do now was to go with the flow.
Her husband was a big man, bigger than me and with what was obviously quite a temper. I wanted to tell him that it was innocent, that he got the wrong idea and that it was me started the conversation with his wife, and not to blame her! I took a deep breath and stood up.
I sat down again. It was hopeless I thought, but my mother always said I was as stubborn as a mule; I gave it another shot.
Success! I managed to get a word in and after a few minutes the situation cooled. Mary and her husband left, and the onlookers turned back to their previous entertainment – the pint pulling pleasure of our Jack.
I breathed a sigh of relief and fell back into the chair exhausted. I looked down as something on the table caught my eye. Mary had written on a napkin with what looked like lipstick. I picked it up to examine it closer…. it was her phone number! I smiled as I studied the curves of the digits, oh and what lovely curves she did have.
I called to Jack for another pint. “….and take one for yourself, mate!”
This was a good day after all.