Sackville Street – Chapter Three

The incident

Steve screeched his car to a halt in Peter’s driveway.

“Don’t turn the engine off” – Peter shouted at him, as if something has possessed him – “43 Sackville Street” – he instructed Steve and he jumped into his car.

“What? You called me to come over urgently so that I can be your taxi? What the hell man?” – Steve wasn’t impressed.

“Just drive Steve, you are not going to regret this”

“Ok! At least tell me why we are going there? Isn’t that where they have built all the new offices?”

“Yes they have! We are going to Sanders Law Firm”

“Law Firm?! What have you done Pete? Why do you need a lawyer? What’s going on?”

“Oh for God’s sake Steve, can you not just concentrate on the road? I have not done anything, yet”

“Yet? So what do you plan to do? Why are you acting all so weird?”

“Ok, so I went to this leaving do last night and had a bit too much to drink”

“Hah what a surprise!”

“Stop being such a judgemental arsehole. Fine I’m not going to say anything.”

“Oh come on! After all these years, if I can’t be a judgemental arsehole to you then what’s the point of being your friend?”

“True. After all you did for me, saved my life, went to prison for my crime, had to give up on your dream of playing professional football but more than anything, you gave up your life, joy, happiness and love for me. To protect me. How can I ever forget?”

“Hey don’t you get all emotional right now. How many times do I need to tell you that it was not your fault? The law, the society is screwed up man. That’s why I don’t like to talk to or mix with anyone. You are the only friend I have got and I appreciate you very much”

“Stop the car!” – barked Peter suddenly

“What?” – Steve was a bit shocked at Peter’s aggression.

“We are here, stop the car”

“Oh yea, sorry. Let me find a parking spot”

“No time, just leave it here by the pavement. We need to go”

“What is wrong with you today Peter? I am not going to keep my car on the pavement! I am not going to break the rules”

“You have played by the rules all your life, one parking fine won’t ruin it for you”

Steve couldn’t be swayed. He could clearly see the urgency and anxiety in Peter’s face and voice, so he stopped the car in front of this giant steel structure.

“Hurry, come with me Steve” – Peter ordered Steve as he jumped out of the car.

With no clue about what’s going on and no answers forthcoming he followed Peter. It was not always that Peter called the shots and Steve followed.

The “Sanders Law Firm” was on the 12th floor of the building. Peter dashed out of the lift, followed by Steve and went to the reception.

“I want to meet your Managing Partner” – said Peter, short of breath

“Sure sir, do you have an appointment?” – The receptionist asked her back

“No I don’t but it’s very important”

“I understand sir but I am very sorry. You cannot meet her without an appointment”

“Of course I can, do you know who I am?”

“No sir” – the receptionist hesitated

“Tell her Steve Hobart is here to see her”

Suddenly this got more confusing for Steve.

“Why the hell is he using my name?” – he thought to himself.

“Hey why are you using my name” – Steve mumbled to Peter in a stern voice

“Just relax for a moment!” – Peter said back to Steve and then turned his attention back to the receptionist

“Can you please call her and tell her that Steve Hobart is here to see her?”

A bit confused and overwhelmed, she dialled the number to the Managing Partner’s chamber.

“Hello ma’am, I am sorry to disturb you but some Steve Hobart is here to see you and says it is very urgent and that you know him?”

There was a pause at the other end of the line.

“Ma’am are you there?” – enquired the receptionist.

“Yes, sorry. Please send him in” – came the reply

“Ok ma’am” – she hung up the phone – “Sir, you can go through. The third office on your left”

“Thank you very much” – said Peter as he started dragging Steve towards the aforementioned room.

Confused and lost, Steve couldn’t figure out what was going on. He had no idea what he was doing there, and before he could even react, Peter had barged in to the chamber. Suddenly, it all became very clear to him. It was as if he was teleported back in time, 38 years ago.

Quietly, Peter slipped out of the room. He took the visiting card out of his wallet for one more time, and smiled. It read:

Janet Sanders

Managing Partner

Sanders Law Firm

43 Sackville Street

Manchester

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