Last one for today. The next five prompts are location based, so that should spark something at least on a couple of days. I’ll have to see how it goes. I’m happy this evening. I will have money in the bank tomorrow and my shopping turns up at lunch time. Right now I’m hungry though so I’m going to write this little story up, have a cream cracker or two and a load of water and go to bed. There will be food in my cupboards and freezer tomorrow. I can manage another 12 hours or so.
The weather suited Derek’s mood as he left yet another interview. The sixth in seven days with no job in sight, it was beginning to get him down. It looked like rain too. He slouched past the cafe where he’d applied to serve coffee to pensioners but couldn’t himself afford to go in for a cuppa, and the music shop that had wanted someone to sell records to spotty teenagers and their parents reliving their youth. Across the road was the office block where he’d gone for two interviews, with different companies, for call centre jobs. He’d heard nothing from any of them and used all his JSA paying for bus fares to get to the interviews.
The bus left as he reached the stop.
Derek sighed. “I give up.” He settled against the bus shelter to wait for the next bus. It was only an hour. His stomach rumbled. Ignoring his hunger, he closed his eyes, nodding slightly.
“‘Ere mate, you got a light?”
A Man in torn jeans and a leather jacket, zipped up to his chin, stood in front of Derek.
“Sorry, I don’t smoke any more.”
“You look like you could do with one.”
“Dicky ticker, Doctor says it’d kill me if I didn’t give up the fags.”
The man settled on the protrusion the council called a bench inside the bus shelter. He looked Derek up and down, “You been to court?”
“Interview.” Derek turned away from the road to face his companion.
“Yeah, the coppers like it when you dress up to visit them.” He indicated Derek’s suit with his still unlit cigarette.
“A job interview.”
“Nice. Sorry about presuming, don’t see many people in suits unless they’re going to court. Where’s the job?”
“Butler’s Carpets. I won’t get it though.”
“Have you tried the Co-Op?”
“Yes, and the record shop, and Molly’s Cafe. I’ve even tried the call centres. I’ve never worked in an office in my life, but I’m getting desperate.”
“That’s shit, man. It took me five years to find a job, but I finally got one. Something will come up eventually.”
“Where do you work?”
“Smyth and Waller, the solicitors on the high street.”
“I know it, they did my Will last year. What are you, the go-fer?”
“Nah, solicitor. Took me years to get a decent job.”
“Huh.” Derek was surprised, but pushed on to cover his mistake, “Day off?”
“Yep. Going to a concert tonight. We really could do with a train station in this town.”
“I’d settle for a bus that ran slightly more regularly than hourly.”
They stood in silence for a few minutes, watching the road for a bus.
Derek’s phone rang, jolting him out of the trance he’d managed to fall into.
“Derek, this is John, at Butler’s. How are you?”
“Waiting for my bus home.”
“Do you have time to come back? We’d like to discuss your pay package and start date.”
The bus was in sight, it had just turned from the high street on to the road. Derek quickly weighed up his choices.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
There was another bus later. He rang off and put his phone away. The bus pulled up. Derek let the man behind him go in front and turned back the way he’d come.
“See, told you something would come up.”