Outside: Part Twenty-Two

This is the twenty-second part of a fiction serial, in 770 words.

For Thomas, the staircase job was very enjoyable. The owners of the house were holidaying in Antigua, so he was looked after by the housekeeper. The elderly lady kept him well supplied with hot drinks and delicious food throughout the day, and left him alone to do his work. She treated him with great respect, and called him Mister Halloran. He liked that a lot.

His fee for the work had been paid in advance, to include his necessary accommodation nearby, and general living expenses. Once he had finished on Friday, he was looking forward to taking some much needed time off, unencumbered by any financial concerns.

As he was thinking about his forthcoming break from work, Gillian had experienced a light bulb moment, and was looking at a website on her laptop.

Whe she had worked at the Unemployment Office, they had used a waste removal company called Biffa. The amount of rubbish generated by all of the staff in that busy office, added to the bins in the waiting room full of job-seekers, was a lot more than could be accommodated by the conventional bins provided by the local Council. So at the back of the office, in the car park, there was a huge bin on wheels. This was owned by that company called Biffa, and they came to empty it twice a week.

She couldn’t arrange it online, but there was a contact number. So she rang them.

“Hello, I need one of your bins for my house. Do you do private addresses? It would need to be close to my front door, as I am unable to go outside very far. They would also have to wheel it from the door to the street. But I have a good sized path from the side gate that would be suitable.”

The young woman on the other end was very friendly.

“Of course we can arrange that, madam. There will be a deposit to cover the container, and a monthly fee for removal. In your area, that is usually quite early, around six in the morning. If that will be alright for you, we can deliver your bin within three working days, and collect it the following week on the same day. I will just need some card details for payment, and I can process your order”.

Gillian agreed to everything, and gave her card details. When the bin arrived, she would have to try to be brave enough to put all the bags and cardboard into it one night, but at least that would get Kirsty and the Council off her back. As for the bags that Kirsty had thrown over the back gate in the garden, they could stay there, for all she cared.

Not her problem.

Thomas sat in the bed and breakfast, thinking it was high time he contacted her again. So he compiled an email on his phone, and pressed ‘Send’ before going out for dinner.

Dear Gill. I keep thinking about how well you cope. I can’t stand people coming to my door, or neighbours knocking to see how I am, or wanting to borrow a pint of milk. It’s all I can do to open the door even a crack, to be honest. And I have no idea what to do once the groceries my sister bought me run out. As far as I can tell, you are so much braver than me, and coping so much better. I am so pleased you are my friend, and staying in contact with me. Love, Charlie. X

When Gill spotted the new email, she was in a positive mood about the bin, so she replied immediately.

People like us have to stick together, Charlie. I have my CCTV to see who is at the door, and if I don’t want to talk to them, I don’t answer the intercom buzzer. I have just arranged to have a private bin collection, so the Council and my neighbours have nothing to complain about. To be honest, I think you should consider moving in with me. I have a nice big spare room, and enough money to feed us both, and give us a good life. I don’t mean anything funny, like being a couple or anything, but we could have a great time here as friends, as we are so similar. I know that can’t happen though, as you won’t go outside. But maybe if I sent a taxi for you, you could be brave enough to try just once?

When he read that reply, Thomas began to chuckle. Then he laughed out loud.

34 thoughts on “Outside: Part Twenty-Two

  1. Oh, the evil is coming to close to her. Well structured, Pete! I apologize for another delay, and hope you are well. As i have seen in a short overview, there are also new photos of Ollie. Lets have a look. Will go through the last postings, day by day. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good move getting a Biffa bin, seems Gillian seems to have thought that one through but she definitely didn’t think before issuing the invite to her home …I wonder how good Thomas is at crossdressing?x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The story keeps processing nicely Pete…not sure if I should anticipate one of your signature “twists” – in fact, I choose not to try and imagine where you are taking us, just enjoying the ride! Glad to see she handled her garbage issue too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. (1) Antigua owes its name to the fact that its residents are anti-guacamole.
    (2) Most laptops provide uninterrupted light due to a Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL). Gillian’s laptop uses an incandescent light bulb that only works for a moment.
    (3) “…the bins in the waiting room full of job-seekers…” Here in the States, job-seekers are given chairs. They would never wait in a rubbish bin!
    (4) I had a hunch that Gillian would want to get Kirsty and the Council off her back.
    (5) “There will be a deposit to cover the container…” Those bins have large lids, so Gillian will have to do some calculations: (a) What is the surface area to be covered? (b) Considering the sum to be deposited, what denominations should be used? Gillian will also need to make sure those bills don’t fly away, so I would suggest she order some industrial strength glue.
    (6) “It’s all I can do to open the door even a crack, to be honest.” Thomas is such a weakling! (But at least he admits it.)
    (7) Gillian wrote, “I don’t mean anything funny.” Ironically, that made Thomas chuckle, and then laugh aloud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The company will empty it, and it will be legal. The Council will not be able to enforce anything. Gillian was thinking straight for once. She will be able to put the bags in without going much further than her front step.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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