13 Haziran 2021

We Need to Talk, Mike

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Just a short ‘vignette’ type of offering, to keep my hand in while I’m trying to complete a somewhat longer and heavier story. As far as I know, none of the following actually ever took place. Indeed, the whole thing is a pack of lies!


Three is indeed the magic number.

Things happen in threes, don’t they? One friend gets married and two others follow. If there’s a disaster followed by a second one, then you can more or less guarantee that a third one will follow. How many times have you waited and waited for a bus to come along and when it does there are three of the damn things?

And so it seems it will be for me!


The day started as any sort of day might do, stacking pallets of goods with our forklifts, much as we’d been doing for the last few years or more.

Then it happened!

A pallet not stacked as it should have been and two more put on top of it, the whole lot tottering nearly twenty foot above us. One of the regular guys didn’t notice as he rushed to complete the tower and it was the last thing he ever stacked! The pallet slipped and its load broke free and slipped under the forklift’s protective cover in a freak accident.

A freak accident that claimed a man’s life and bought the whole place to a halt.

I hardly knew the guy, even though we’d both worked there for the last five years or so, his shift seldom coinciding with mine except for half an hour or so as my shift finished and his started, much as it did on that fateful day.

He was dead, and that was obvious despite the first aid that was administered within moments and he wouldn’t be driving his forklift anymore. The police arrived and shortly afterwards the factory inspectorate who individually interviewed us one by one. Nobody could be sure who’d stacked the faulty pallet, illegal bahis but then again I couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t me.

Hard to live with?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

It was a quiet and thoughtful Mike Thomas, that’s me by the way, who drove home that evening. Drove home to my wife Gwen, who’d be waiting there for me.


After the afternoon I’d just had, food wasn’t exactly top of my agenda, my mind more full of quite how fragile our existence on this earth is, and quite how easily it can end. Even so, the lack of the usual kitchen smells registered, as did the absence of Gwen where I’d usually expect to find her.

“Is that you Mike?” I heard from the hallway of all places, and that’s where I found her. My carefully worked out explanation of what had happened earlier, dying in my throat as I spotted her there, dressed up in her best coat with two small suitcases by her feet.

“What’s going on?” I demanded, taken by surprise.

“We need to talk, Mike,” Gwen hit me with. Hit me with finality about her voice that sent a shiver through me.

“Talk about what?” I asked, my earlier trials pushed to the back of my mind, as I observed the determined look on her face.

“There’s no easy way to say this Mike,” she started. “I’m leaving you. I’m sorry but my mind’s made up. I hate to hurt you, but I have to follow my heart. I’ve met someone else and I’m going to live with him.”

“And that’s it?” I spat back at her. “Fifteen bloody years and that’s all you’ve got to say.”

“There’s a lot more to say Mike,” Gwen replied, her voice softening. “It’s not that I don’t love you anymore honey. But the passion’s gone and I simply don’t feel that I’m actually in love with you anymore.”

“Who the fuck is it?”

“Does that matter?” She pleaded.

“Of course it damn illegal bahis siteleri well matters,” I cried out, trying to control my emotions. Damn it, the day had been bad enough already without this to add my problems. How could she do this to me? This day of all days.

“I don’t think you know him Mike,” my wife of fifteen years regally informed me. “I met him at last year’s Christmas party.”

“That smarmy git who you danced with half the bloody night,” I burst out angrily, remembering that evening and the argument that had followed. “Gerry something or other.”

“Gerald,” Gwen corrected me. “Gerald Martin. I’m sorry Mike but I’ve been seeing him pretty regularly more or less ever since.”

“Seeing him?” I snarled sarcastically.

“You know what I mean,” was all she would offer.

Then silence!

A silence that seemed to drift on forever as the pair of us stood there, me glaring at her angrily, while she, my wife Gwen looked at me sadly, a single tear rolling slowly down her left cheek.

“I’m really sorry Mike,” she whispered.

“Sure you are Gwen,” I snapped back at her. “What are you waiting for? Why don’t you fuck off to your bloody Gerry?”

“Gerald,” she corrected me quietly. “I’ll be going now. I’ll come back for the rest of my stuff during the week sometime.”

“Bugger off then.”

“Mike, please don’t be like that.”

“Fuck off then. Is that better?”

I guess it wasn’t, and Gwen burst into tears, grabbed her cases and ran from the house, throwing her luggage into the back seat as she jumped into the driving seat.

“Is that really it Mike?” She pleaded, sat there with the engine running, her foot on the clutch no doubt and the car in gear. I don’t know how I knew but I did, we both did, that if I’d said the right thing at that moment then she’d call the whole stupid canlı bahis siteleri thing off.

But I didn’t!

With a shake of my head, and without another word, I turned and walked slowly back into the house, my life as I’d known it broken and finished.

I didn’t even hear her car pull away.



Well, how would you feel?

Even though I didn’t really know the guy, to have a work colleague killed almost in front of you and then to come home needing someone to talk to, only to find that she was leaving you for someone else, wouldn’t rate as a good day in anyone’s book, would it?

Then that number three came to mind. Things came in threes, so that was two down and one to go maybe, but what else could the world throw at me?


Actually, as it happened, I had a pretty good idea, but the question was, did I want to hang around to let it happen? Hang around or maybe pop down to the local pub, and see if that new, pretty, young barmaid who’d been flirting with me, really meant it?

Bloody good question!

You see, I was pretty sure, in fact damn well certain that things weren’t going to work out quite as Gwen had imagined, and that at some stage, be it that evening, the next day or even a week later, that she’d be coming back with her tail between her legs.

Her coming back would be the third major event; the second of course was her leaving.

And the first?

Well, though as I said I hardly knew the guy, poor Gerald Martin was currently lying in a mortuary somewhere and wouldn’t be there waiting for Gwen when she got there. Wherever ‘there’ was that is.

Not that I’m admitting that it was me that stacked that dodgy pallet, and even if it was, then I couldn’t have possibly known that the accident would be fatal, could I?

So will I take her back or not you’re all asking.

That could depend on how serious that pretty little barmaid was couldn’t it?


Short and to the point and I hope you enjoyed it. And no, I do not drive a forklift truck for a living.

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