Thursday, 17 May 2012

In Cassidy's Care: 5. Last Monday (continued)

Later that morning Cassidy sat at his desk in the lower school lab, eating a stolen doughnut. Second graders were easy pickings. He liked the kids, liked the school. He was ‘Head of Department’ now, admittedly a department of one, but the title was worth an extra eleven hundred a year, even though it did come with a few extra curricular responsibilities. He also got to teach Daniel and Archie daily, so that was good.
“Teaching’s good” he said to his reflection in the monitor screen and heard his father’s voice. He pictured him on the porch of the beach house poking at his plants with a rusty trowel.
“That’s good. Teaching’s good”, Harry had said when Cassidy showed him his college application forms.
“One more teacher means one less delinquent.”
His father could be an acerbic old ass but Cassidy recognized his approval.
As he prepared his first class of the day his mind fixed on the early morning’s events. An ambulance had arrived 17 minutes after he’d finally hit 999 and, with Monty en route to hospital (and after changing into a more supportive jogging suit) he’d started making his statement to the police; a statement that he finally signed at the local station in Maida Vale four hours later.
It transpired that Monty had met Claude the week before “somewhere in Old Compton darling” and after a couple of dates had invited him home “for nookie and a nightcap”. Monty had caught him rifling through his drawers.
“He only got the Rolex, my worthless inheritance, all that my father left me. Tight arse.” Cassidy had walked beside Monty as the medics stretchered him down the stairs, towards the ambulance. “Lovely crocodile strap but never kept time.” He grasped Cassidy’s hand tightly. “Over wound, beautiful and useless. A bit like Claude really” he guffawed and then grimaced. “Sorry Peter, you Americans don’t do irony, do you?”
As Monty disappeared headfirst into the ambulance his bluing feet hung pitifully over the edge of the stretcher and Cassidy hung his own slippers over the clawed toes of his injured friend.
“Thanks old boy.” Monty’s voice echoed dolefully from the darkness within, “You’re a good egg. My extremities were beginning to feel rather chilly.”
Cassidy wondered if he’d ever see Monty, or his slippers again.

Finishing his doughnut, Cassidy brushed sugar from his tie and eyed his emails, noticing one from his oldest brother Tom. “Urgent. Ring home. Dad not good.”
“Dad’s had an episode; a stroke they think. He’s gone into a coma”, explained Tom two hours later when Cape Cod finally awoke. “They don’t think he’s going to make it.”
“Jeez. How’s Mom?”
“Annie’s OK; sitting by his bed, shouting at him to wake up and stop milking it. Keeps asking him what he wants for supper.”

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