A Favour is Asked
Bundling a still half sleeping Pearse into the back of my car Joel asks no questions he’s seen it all before too many times even to cause the rise of an eyebrow. “Where to?” He asks once we are all in and buckled up. Where to, he asks as if we have an option other than to go home, extract sleeping beauty from his vomit soaked suit and throw him in a shower. He does stink it’s a mixture of wedding cake, alcohol and peppermints. Peppermints why can I smell peppermints. Peering into the back seat to see Joey trying to shove peppermints up Pearse’s nostrils, he, in turn, is trying to swat Joey’s hands away while still sleeping.
“My place Jeeves and no delay.” Joel laughs at my lousy attempt at a joke. I can’t wait to sink into a nice warm bath and soak in it for hours then slip into a nice toasty pair of pyjamas and sleep for the rest of the day. Arriving home, we are met by Tabitha my ginger Maine coon; she never greets anyone except for Joey and Pearse she’s a hussy when it comes to those two. Joey pets her on the head and rubs her cheeks she purrs loudly and rubs up against his ankles then slinks off in the direction of the nearest sofa.
We bundle Pearse off to the shower Joey carries him up the stairs, he’s still not quite in the land of the living. Helping him out of his suit we get to his underpants which Joey refuses to take off, I pull them off nothing I haven’t seen before. Joey shakes his head as we deposit Pearce in the shower turning it on to cold, he screams from the shock. Closing the shower cubicle, I say. “That’ll sober you up.” A string of expletives come from the shower.
“You’re a cruel woman.” He sobs.
“Yes, yes, just sober up and join us downstairs when you are through.”
“Olivia.” Joey asks as we make our way back downstairs, he’s using his nice tone, he wants a favour, he only uses that tone of voice when he’s going to ask me to do something he knows I’d rather not.
“Could you do me a favour?” He’s so predictable or maybe it’s just that I know him too well, either way, it’s undoubtedly going to be something I’ll say no to immediately.
“Depends on what you’re asking me to do?”
“Nothing much I was hoping you might pick my mother up from the airport, she’s coming in on the afternoon flight.”
“Keep on hoping it’s not going to happen.”
“Please.” He pleads it’s rather apparent that he doesn’t want to face the old dragon and her probing questions. The grand inquisitor has nothing on her in the space of thirty seconds she can fire a relentless barrage of questions at you.
“Anything else I would do, but no, I am not going to spend an extremely unpleasant car journey with your mother and her brown clad assistant.”
“I’ll never ask you to do anything ever again if you do this one little thing for me.”
“One little thing, that’s a joke. Why can’t your father pick her up or more to the point why can’t she get a taxi like everyone else.”
“Dads out of town and a taxi is a no-no.”
“Well now it’s a yes yes, sorry Joey I have a hot date with a bubble bath, my pyjamas and my bed, picking your mother up from the airport does not feature in my plan for today. I can send a driver to pick her up if that’s any good to you.”
“I could do that too. A chauffeur-driven limo, to anyone other than my mother, would be a compliment, but to her, she would take it as an insult that I couldn’t be bothered to pick her up.”
“And she’d be right, you can’t, send a car for her, and if she doesn’t like it too bad.”
“You may have a relationship with your mother that you can say no to her but..,”
“You don’t, like I said Joey grow up, get a set of balls, and tell her where to get off.”
“Great advice, Olivia tell my mother to fuck herself.”
“I didn’t say she should fuck herself, Joey, I said you should set boundaries of what is acceptable and what isn’t.”
“Can I borrow yours?” He asks a pathetic little boy lost look on his face as if that is somehow going to sway my decision.
“Joey just do it; I can send Joel in one of my cars instead of the limo.”
“You would let my mother into your Aston.”
“No sweetie that is one set of buttocks that will not be gracing the front seat of my baby.” There is no way I would let her sit in my pride and joy she’d probably burn a hole in the upholstery
“You are a weird person Olivia.”
“You have no idea. I’ll ask Joel he can pick her up he’s good at making excuses. I hear them often enough, as to why it takes him three hours to put the limo through the car wash.” Its true Joel is the king of excuses he never lacks some colourful reason why a job that should only take an hour at the maximum lasting most of the day. It doesn’t bother me he never complains about the long hours he sometimes has to work or the fact he’s usually carrying one drunk or another out of a nightclub at the weekend, and he’s nice to look at.
“Why don’t you fire him?”
“I like the way he looks what’s wrong with that.” He’s very easy on the eyes, a strapping 6 foot 6 Dolph Lundgren look-alike it’s almost worth paying him to look at him. It’s like owning a fine piece of art but art that has practical applications.
“Not a thing at least you’re honest, you could have said for his inner genius. That’s no good to me, Olivia, my mother, is expecting me to pick her up.”
“Are you still a little fragile poor baby, you only have yourself to blame, self-pity is a dreadful thing,” I say ruffling his hair, he scowls at me, no amount of pulling that face is going to change my mind.
“Livi please just this once I’ll clean your dogs out for a week.” He’s desperate now.
“But you’re scared of my dogs.” He is, then again most people are; August is the only other person I know who isn’t, he and I are somewhat similar in many ways.
“Indeed, I am, but I would rather face vicious Dobermans than my mother.” They would probably seem like a picnic compared to the dragon lady; it still baffles me how she can instil so much fear in so many.
“Oh alright, you’re so pathetic looking when you beg. Joel and I can pick her up in the limo.”
“Thanks, I owe you one.”
“No, you don’t let’s just say I’m against cruelty to humans.”
“Thanks, Livi my mother was wrong when she said you had a heart of granite.”
“I’d quit when I’m ahead Joey if I were you.”
“Maybe I should.”