Chapter 2

Written by: Griffin

 

“Uncle Toby.” 

 

“Lucy my dear.”

 

“Where did you go? Where have you been all this time? Nobody knew where you went.”

 

The cashier surveyed the scene. Women moved on, boyfriends in tow, to search for fluffy tops, clock radios, coffee makers and wedding gowns.

 

It had been twelve years. His offer ringing in her ears, Lucy looked into Uncle Toby’s eyes, aware of being in the presence of an expensively-dressed man, tanned, immaculately groomed, and with a twinkle of a smile. The hair was slightly greying. 

 

“Don’t worry, you can pay me back sometime. Let’s save you time, and you can get out of here with your dress and jeans. Not a bad choice. Love the material.” He brushed a hand over the brown suede of the miniskirt waiting to be folded up.

 

“Oh well, I suppose so. Thanks Uncle Toby. I’m thirty-two now, perhaps I will call you Toby.”

 

They exchanged smiles. 

 

“Absolutely. And I’ll call you Lucy.”

 

“Toby, that’s what you called me before.” Lucy was pleased to display her dry humour. “Are you sure you’ve got enough on it? My tastes are expensive. Way beyond my wallet, and maybe yours.”

 

Toby chuckled and handed his card to the girl, who was now embarrassed at having become interested in the conversation. She handed Lucy’s card back to her and it dropped onto the floor. She blushed, saying “Sorry Madam,” and, taking Toby’s card, completed the transaction and packed the merchandise.

 

“OK I owe you 310 pounds 55 pence. Want to go somewhere and tell me all about where you’ve been?”

 

“Sure. I know a place we can go.”

 

They strode through the glitz of Whiteleys. Lucy was excited and so happy to meet her favourite uncle once more. They took an exit into the rather down-market streetscape of the B411. 

 

“I’ve so missed you Uncle Toby. Whoops, Toby. You are looking well, I must say.” 

 

“You too. A little strained perhaps.” 

 

It was nearing the end of the day and many workers were hurrying along on the pavement, under the grey sky.

 

A taxi ride, and they were being led to a table at Le Gavroche. White linen, a glass of Prosecco and a plate of antipasto.

 

“I’ve got so many questions,” said Lucy. “Firstly, what on earth were you doing in that women’s clothing shop?”

 

“Aha, good question. I like to keep an eye on fashion.”

 

Lucy was not convinced by this answer. However, she went on, “So, I remember Sally. She was such a nice person. What happened to her?”

 

Toby pursed his lips and looked at one of the other tables. “It … wasn’t working. We had to part.”

 

“I sensed something of that sort.”

 

“And I just had to get away. So off I went to Los Angeles.”

 

“I remember you had some connection there. Some guy.”

 

“A schoolmate. He was into hedge funds. I was curious, with my economics background.”

 

“So that’s how you made your fortune.”

 

“Not quite.”

 

 

 

 

Comments

This chapter is easy to read and has left us wondering how Uncle (oops) Toby made his fortune. The girl at the counter is great because that's what they do...pretend they aren't listening. Nice observation. Great job Greg.