THIS IS BAD. I mean, I’m not just being paranoid, am I? This is really bad.
As I sit on the tube on my way home, I stare at my reflection – outwardly calm and relaxed. But inside,
My mind’s scurrying around like a spider, trying to find a way out. Round and round and round, legs
Flailing, no escape. . . OK, stop. Stop! Calm down and let’s go through the options one more time.
Option One:Go to meeting and tell the truth.
I just can’t. I can’t go along on Monday morning and admit that there isn’t £1,000 from my aunt and
There never will be. What will they do to me? They’ll get all serious, won’t they? They’ll sit me down and
Start going through all my expenditures and. . . Oh God, I feel sick at the thought of it. I can’t do it. I
Can’t go. End of story.
Option Two:Go to meeting and lie.
So, what, tell them the £1,000 is absolutely on its way, and that further funds will be coming through
Soon. Hmm. Possible. The trouble is, I don’t think they’ll believe me. So they’ll still get all serious, sit me
Down, give me a lecture. No way.
Option Three:Don’t go to meeting.
But if I don’t, Derek Smeath will phone Philip and they’ll start talking. Maybe the whole story will come
Out, and he’ll find out I didn’t actually break my leg. Or have glandular fever. And after that I won’t ever
Be able to go back into the office. I’ll be unem-ployed. My life will be over at the age of twenty-five.
Option Four:Go to meeting with check for £1,000.
Perfect. Waltz in, hand over the check, say “Will there be anything else?” and waltz out again.
But how do I get £1,000 before Monday morning? How?
Option Five:Run away.
Which would be very childish and immature. Not worth considering.
I wonder where
I could go? Maybe abroad somewhere. Las Vegas. Yes, and I could win a fortune at
The casinos. A million pounds or something. Even more, perhaps. And then, yes, then I’d fax Derek
Smeath, saying I’m closing my bank account due to his lack of faith in me.
God yes! Wouldn’t that be great? “Dear Mr. Smeath, I was a little surprised at your recent implication
That I have insuffi-cient funds to cover my overdraft. As this check for £1.2 million shows, I have ample
Funds at my disposal, which I will shortly be moving to one of your competitors. Perhaps they will treat
Me with more respect. P. S., I am copying this letter to your superiors.”
I love this idea so much, I lean back and wallow in it for a while, amending the letter over and over in my
Head. “Dear Mr. Smeath, as I tried to inform you discreetly at our last encounter, I am in fact a
Millionairess. If only you had trusted me, things might have been different.”
God, he’ll be sorry, won’t he? He’ll probably phone up and apologize. Try and keep my business and
Say he hadn’t meant to offend me. But it’ll be too late. Hah! Ha-ha-ha-ha. . .
Oh blast. Missed my stop.
When I get home, Suze is sitting on the floor, surrounded by magazines.
“Hi!” she says brightly. “Guess what? I’m going to be in Vogue!”
“What?” I say disbelievingly “Were you spotted on the streets or something?” Suze has got an excellent
Figure. She could easily be a model. But still. . . Vogue!
“Not me, silly!” she says. “My frames.”
“Your frames are going to be in Vogue?” Now I really am disbelieving.
“In the June issue! I’m going to be in a piece called Just Relax: Designers Who Are Bringing the Fun
Back into Interiors.’ It’s cool, isn’t it?