#2 Repairing The Phone

Sheridon led the way into the ClexaCubicle and took the best seat at the table at the café. The seat where he could watch tv and have the benefit of watching the news channel. Tracy took the opportunity to sit by him and then Kerry, Terry and Stefan followed his lead. Sheridon then got up after taking his seat and then brought everyone breakfast before sitting back down again.

“This might be the last time you ever buy me anything” Tracy noticed.
“I advise you make the most of it” he replied.
“I was hoping the last time would be a Tracy exclusive” she said.
“It will be whenever you want taxi fare home” he replied.
“You’ll have to pay me more than eight pound- maximum to go home.”
“I’ll pay you for a restraining order if you like.”
“And I’ll pay you to escort me if you like.”
“You couldn’t afford it in your dreams! What would a man want with an easy and common girl like you? He would much rather be with me.” The twins started to laugh.
“I hope you mean the opposite of everything you’ve just said because I really hope we’ll have a nice day today.”
“If so, I hope you stay silent until this day finishes.”
“Kerry, you’ve got a corn flake on your shirt.” They ate their food and stayed quiet for a few minutes.

Tracy looked at Sheridon’s newly acquired text.
“What does that mean? I know. Why is Kerry sending you secret messages?”
“Mind your own business.”
“Why are you ignoring me?” The twins looked at each other absolutely speechless.
“I don’t believe you. I can tell you’re all lying.” Tracy waited for the news report to finish about burglaries before going to the toilet. This gave Sheridon the time to appreciate the laminate flooring, glass table and yellow wall paint. Now he could eat his bacon sandwich in harmonious space.
“So how are going to get rid of her?” asked Kerry.
“Why would I do that? I don’t want to nearly send her home a third time.”
“She’s a nervous wreck!” added Terry.
“You need a way to repair the phone without her finding out.”
“Are you asking me to hide from a stalker?”
“Yes” replied Kerry. “You don’t want the shopkeeper to get his hands on it.
“Okay then I’m leaving to get the phone repaired. I wish I’d never forgot the pin code.
“Good luck” said Kerry as he walked off with his things.

When Tracy eventually returned from the toilet, she was surprised to find that Sheridon had gone. After all, they were only joking earlier, as in him making cruel jokes and her responding.

Tracy took her seat and resumed eating.
“Where’s Sheridon?” she asked.
“Don’t know” Kerry replied.
“Is he coming back?” she asked with concern.
“Yes he is.”
“Oh that’s good.”
“Let’s just finish the rest of the food” added Terry.
They did so while Tracy watched the weather report off the tv. Tracy looked at Kerry as her phone bleeped. She read a text, got up out of her seat and snatched the Hotel Handbook out of her handbag and ran off with Sheridon to give it to him.
“Wait. I want to come too” she said. But it was too late. Kerry had gone into the distance.

“Isn’t it nice for Sheridon to buy all this food for us?” said Terry in a bid to change the subject.
“Yes. I only wish I could have shared it with him” she replied as she had hardly eaten much of her food before he left.
“Tracy? I know something he would like you, to share with him” Terry smiled.
“What’s that?”
“Your money” she grinned. Tracy did not find this joke funny, however she did appreciate Terry’s attempt to cheer her up.
“So what are we doing in this place?” Tracy asked.
Terry had to pause before answering this question. “Debra’s having a day off, so she wants us to do, all the work that she would normally do today, while she has a day off.”
“Interesting. Because, we can’t do any work can we, and they can.”
“That’s right. I wouldn’t bet on it though, as he may make you do some work when he meets you in half an hour.”
“I would prefer that, as you and Stefan and Kerry would be with him when he meets me that is. We’ll be like a family. Today’s going to be a great day.”
“Let’s go” said Terry getting out of her seat. They all collected their things and disposed of their crockery, cutlery and leftover food. Terry walked once across the ground floor paying extra attention to the doors. She walked back to where she started with Stefan asking her if she was lost. She walked halfway across the ground before noticing her destination. The staff room door. Terry opened it hoping that nobody would be inside. Tracy and Stefan followed and they sat down on the sofa and they watched tv.

Meanwhile, Sheridon was facing a problem, much bigger than what he had faced today.
“Let’s do this thing” said Kerry walking towards Sheridon.
“Now, I know a place where we can get the phone repaired.
"Really?" asked Kerry sarcastically, as he texted her to meet her, to bring the Hotel Handbook for the map.
"No. Now if you just go to the back page of the handbook, you'll see the room Debra put a star on, that's the room." She did so.
While they walked to their new destination, Sheridon asked her what took her so long to get to their previous destination where they met up.Beep beep. Sheridon got another text, which he reluctantly read.
"Do not answer that text. It's probably Tracy withholding her number."
"She's foolish if she thinks I'm going to reply."
"Foolish isn't the word."
He read the words where are you? off his phone again before putting it into his pocket. They finally got to their destination to have Kerry tell him not to open his bag there, but to instead, get a bin liner from the room, and put that in his bag, go to the toilet, put the phone in the bin liner, which are both stored in the bag, and then carry the bin liner to the starred room and then dispose of it.

"What would I do if you wasn't here?" he thankfully rhetorically asked. Kerry smiled.Sheridon replied yes when he walked out of the toilet to see Kerry ask him if he had remembered the phone. He held the bin liner in his hand.
"S***! It's one of Debra's friends, looking for you." Kerry exclaimed quietly. "If she opens the bin we're screwed!"
There was only one thing to do. Run. Run as if your life depended on it. The only running they did, however was running upstairs, as they all knew too well, that running with a bin liner would arouse suspicion and eventually get them chased, tackled and caught by security.

Meanwhile, Kerry and Sheridon were walking along a corridor they had not yet familiarised themselves with.
"The shopkeeper keeps calling us" Sheridon spoke.
"We'll have to, bankrupt ourselves and then immigrate to a remote island."
"I like the sound of voluntary liquidation for in case we don't get the phone fixed."

"I've found a place we can immigrate to before the shopkeeper demands for our assets." 
They hid in a stock cupboard for cleaners. It smelt pine fresh. Kerry was careful not to stop on any brooms or rakes. The cupboard was small and tensions were high.

"When articulating an evil plan," explained Kerry whispering, "time is the taskmaster you shalln't avoid. If you do, he'll get his gangsters to betray you, and then you'll be worse off than how you started."
"Nicely said."
"Thank you."
"I can hear footsteps." whispered Sheridon. Kerry said whatever with her hand nonchalant, and signalled for him to make his phone silent. It rang before he got the chance. It was withheld. He accepted the call and heard background noise, Tracy was not on the other end. He assumed the worst, ended the call and thought it was Debra's friend was looking for them. That she was the caller with the footsteps. The footsteps got louder. They both panicked. The footsteps got louder. They both switched their phones off. The footsteps got louder. They hoped it would get quieter. The footsteps got louder. They hoped the person would walk past them and into the distance. The footsteps got louder. Kerry bit her lip. The footsteps got louder. Sheridon was looking into space. The footsteps got louder. Kerry cowered towards Sheridon talking refuge in his hand gripping it tight. Isn't it amazing how seconds can move slow whilst heartbeats remmain faster than ever? The door opened. It was Debra's friend, and no security man in sight.

"I suggest that you all leave." insisted the stranger.

"With you?" asked Terry.
"Yes. With me."
"You mean now?"
"Yes. Now."
"Whatever it is that you came here to do, why don't we leave after you've done that?"
The stranger took a plastic wallet containing work papers off the coffee table and then smiled. Stefan blew a raspberry at her, then they all followed her lead. The ended up at the stranger's office. They all took a seat.
"I'm a publicist who also works in PR" explained the stranger. "And the only public relations you'll be doing is in here, while I relate myself to the public out there" she gestured the open door, shortly after gesturing the room. "And the only publicising you'll be doing is publisising my bonus, while I'll be publicising your work. We'll get along well together."
"What makes you think that?" asked Terry.
The stranger was challenged and for a second didn't know how to reply.
"The peace I'll get after taking Stefan ranson. He'll do perfectly in impressing the adults." The stranger ruffled his hair before grabbing him and taking him out the door without a word goodbye.
"Where did you get those glasses?" asked Terry.
"Nice aren't they?"
"I just wanted to know where you got them from." Tracy wore them since she left the café with Terry.

"I'm sorry for accusing you of ignoring me earlier. I was being dumb."
"That's alright. You should have seen the time when I fed Stefan alcohol to stop him from crying. How dumb is that?"
"I wish I had alcohol every time I cried."
"It's on the internet that video is."
"I'll have to watch it some time."
The chatter continued for a long time.

10:30 AM
"Hello Sheridon. Your mother tells me alot about you. Hahaha!" Sheridon dropped the bin liner.
"I believe your mother let you in charge today. So how's life?"
"Good.""I'm good. You're good. We're good. Wait. Stop staring at me like that Terry. So what are you two doing her anyway?"
"Getting a mop" replied Kerry sounding rather rude.
"Funnily enough, you're standing next to a mop, so you obviously must be skiving from work."

"No. We are getting a mop" Kerry insisted.

"Skiving from work."
"Getting a mop."
"Skiving from work."
"Getting a mop."
"Skiving from work."
"Getting a mop."
"Skiving from work."
"Look! I was finding a mop in this pig sty of a cupboard. It's so clutterd, that I tripped and got a rake scratch on my ankle" she shouted firmly.
"Yeaaaahhh- No. I would have believed you if I hadn't of seen you run up the stairs."
Three minutes after family banter with Sheridon, she told him to follow her to Debra's office. And he did. After all, what choice did he have? While Sheridon and the friend walked down the corridor, talking, Kerry leaned her head out the open stock cupboard door and mouthed "No! No! No!" She signalled with both hands for him to come back several times before clasping her hands as if she was praying. Sheridon was turned around to see her. The friend was not so Kerry could not see his or her face. Sheridon was happy to have Kerry do his duties. Kerry was not happy to do them without Sheridon.

“I almost forgot” said the stranger peeping his or her head through the open window so his or her body could not show. “Continue my process of adding the sheets of A4 envelopes in the correct order, right way round, folded, then in A5 envelopes. Shouldn’t take you long. Good luck.”

They started to do just that. They were not talking at all. Terry gathered the sheets. Tracy did the folding. It was such a monotonous job for them to do.
“I can see why we were made to do this.” Tracy said breaking the silence. The silence resumed.

“Doesn’t Debra say alot about your constant drinking?”
“No? Kerry’s the one who drinks. You should see the way she’s sweet to the designated driver”
“Who is the designated driver?”
“No-one in particular really. She just makes a big effort to get them whenever she goes out.”
“Couldn’t you help her?”
“We did once. Me and her had a contest of who could get the most and she won.”
“What? Were you flirting with older guys?”
“Nooo. That’s why I lost and she won.”
“Really?” Terry smiled. “Look at yourself.”
“No. It wasn’t like that.”
“Your face is telling me how it was.”
“Is it?”
“Yes it is?”
“No it can’t be. It’s just good memories that’s all. Getting pissed.” There was a 20 second pause.
“So do you ever get drunk.”
“No actually, being here in the ClexaCubicle today is good enough.” They both smiled at each other despite their constant workload.

Sheridon was not giving any second to chance. He noticed the corridors were more busy than usual, so he assumed the staff were on a break. Staff. Not residents. Not school kids. Staff. He thought about how it easy it would be to run from her if it was school. But it wasn’t. It was staff. Maybe he could trick her into not going into Debra’s office. Maybe he should follow lead to her office and hope that she would leave him to his own devices once there. Maybe he could call Terry and Tracy, especially Tracy, to rescue him from this situation. Maybe he could do nothing at all, and let Kerry do all the work. Maybe he could do nothing at all and let Kerry do all the work. Sheridon thought about the last option for a few seconds and found it to be the most attractive and viable. Viable it was, as he could cover Debra’s jobs, she could mop a floor, and before he knows it, he’ll be reunited with Tracy, Kerry, Terry and Stefan. If any shopkeeper asks if he was doing anything suspicious, Debra’s friend will back his case. What could be better than getting another ally?

“Not in a million years would I think that Debra would send you lot here” said the friend. “She’s always talking about how you lot are burdens. That when she works here, she feels single again, before she married. That the only hitting she does is on men, and the only cleaning she does is her language.” She continued after pausing. “What am I to do with you? I’ve got to give you something to do. If I was you, I would have brought some friends to ensure you have something to do during break. The friend opened Debra’s room with a key and taught him how to read Debra’s faxed memos. The friend spent a lot of time rummaging through drawers, cupboards and boxes to steal. The friend stole things like paper clips, paper, staplers, things like that, stationery. Sheridon waited for the person to leave worrying if Kerry got caught of if she done it. He pulled out his phone before remembering hers was off. Damn!

Kerry waited for Sheridon to turn up in the stock cupboard asking what was taking so long. Without her, he would have been caught; and without him, she might get caught. But what if a cleaner or security man decides to open the cupboard asking her why she was in there, and what’s in the bin liner? Her patience was wearing thin and her desire for Sheridon was high. She joked about wearing combat clothes she wasn’t wearing so she could camouflage in all the mess. Her field of vision was so cluttered, she didn’t know what her eyes should focus on.

Her mind was made up. She left the room with a mop, bin liner, handbag, Hotel Handbook and mop bucket. She liked convincing disguise. Her heart was still beating fast and audibly loud. She felt that any person walking towards her was looking at her. She hated how distinct and slow she walked. Her hands were full, yet her hope was empty.

She walked downstairs.

She could see Sheridon walking towards her.
“Nice disguise” he remarked.
“High five” said Kerry with her hand raised. Sheridon high fived.
“It must have took you long to leave the friend. You took years.”
“I was looking for you with your phone off.”
“I’m glad you made it in one piece. I was worried.”
“Me too.”
“I expected the friend to give you no space, so you just, you know, get up and run from her. And she’s chasing you but you’re too fast. You know what I mean.”
“The phone’s nearly repaired, all we have to do is walk inside.”
“The starred room.”
“The starred room.”

Meanwhile, the stranger was having the best day of all whilst driving a car.
“You. Whatever your name is, is going to make me alot of money.”
“How much money?”
“Do you like sweets?”
“I’ll buy you sweets.”
“Yeah! Sweets! My mummy never buys me sweets.”
“That’s nice to hear” she said, “If you do what I say, I’ll buy you sweets.”
“What do you say?”
“When I say the words It really is, you say the words It’s good for families, got it?”
“Let’s practise.”

* * *
They both got out of the car and walked into a conferencing room in an office.

* * *
“You are mint. I have struck gold.”
“Because when I buy you sweets, it makes me happy.”
“And give you £10.”
“And give you £10.”
“Does that mean that you’re happier than my Mum is?”
“Sometimes. Now I am. Whenever you want to see me, tell your two sisters. Especially the one without the glasses.”
They both got out of the car and back into the ClexaCubicle.

The End

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