Sackville Street – Chapter Two

Peter Tashkin

It was another glorious summer morning, the fourth day in a row! Quite unusual for this part of the world. Peter Tashkin woke up with a mild headache and a grumpy mood. Last night was a leaving do for one of his now ex-colleague and he overdid on the alcohol. His memory was quite hazy but something was definitely bothering him. He rolled over the bed to find his wife of 31 years, Anne, still sleeping. She looked very beautiful, more than ever. The radiant sunshine was creeping through the gaps in the blinds and landed perfectly on her face giving it a divine glowing aura. For a moment, Peter was happy. He was content. His love for Anne only grew with each passing day, even after so many years of marriage. It was then that it came back again, the guilt that he wakes up to for the last 38 years. He wished he could become his favourite superhero, the Flash, for a day and run back in time to stop the incident from happening. He thought that after that evening his best friend Steve would never speak to him again but, their bond only became stronger after that incident and he was grateful for that.

Sitting on his side of the bed, Peter’s thoughts were drifting back to that eventful evening.

It was a late spring evening. He was supposed to hang out with his friend Steve. They had planned to meet at the north-west corner of the Trident Park, a lush green park with beautiful flower beds, grass trimmed to perfection and a small lake in the centre.

It was an exciting day! Steve had earlier told Peter about this girl he loved and finally mustered enough courage to ask her out. He couldn’t wait to hear all the details from Steve as he biked his way to the park.

But, that was not all. He was also excited to share with Steve the thing he “acquired” from the shady senior at university, a packet of marijuana. However, he was not sure if Steve would approve of it. For all his good qualities, Steve was too uptight and didn’t know how to have fun, thought Peter and he wanted to help change it that evening.

Peter got to their meeting place a bit earlier than scheduled. Steve preferred this north-west corner of the park as very few people would come to this side. This meant he had some privacy in a city where he was quickly becoming the next big thing in his club. He was a very popular player who got fast-tracked to the first team from the reserves team.

Peter was tempted to make use of this quiet corner of the park and smoke his marijuana whilst waiting for Steve. It was his first time and he made himself a generous joint from the packet he bought.

Steve couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing when he finally got there. Peter was high on marijuana! He shouted some expletives at him and snatched the load from him to put it in his pocket.

“I’m going to burn this all. What the hell were you thinking, you idiot?” – He barked at Peter.

A bit scared and trying to change the topic, Peter asked Steve about the love of his life, Janet.

“Umm sorry mate. I don’t know what took over me but let’s not talk about this. Promise me you won’t tell anyone. My father will kick me out of the house and I’ll be homeless!” – Perhaps he was being a bit too dramatic.

“Fine I won’t, but you need to promise that you’ll never do drugs!” – demanded Steve.

“I promise, I won’t! Now, tell me about Janet. Did you speak to her? What did she say?” – Peter asked.

“Yes, I did” – suddenly the corner of Steve’s eyes lit with excitement and he smiled – “She said yes! She said she’ll go out with me. I am so excited about  …”

Before he could finish his sentence, a guy came from nowhere, picked up Peter’s bike and ran off with it.

Peter was still very high and was in no state to react to this. Thankfully for him, the athletic machine named Steve sped after him on his own bike to catch the offender.

The chase did not last long. The first bend out of the park saw a speeding car ram into Steve’s bike. He was lucky that he wasn’t dead, but his leg was broken in many pieces. What was worse that during the accident scene investigations the Police found marijuana in sufficient quantity in Steve’s pocket and arrested him for possession. He tried to explain it to the Police but they wouldn’t listen. He was caught red-handed and two years is what he got. The public prosecutor, Mr. Sanders, wanted to make an example out of this new-age young and flashy footballers who thought they could do anything they wanted to and built a very strong case against Steve, as if he had some personal vendetta against him.

It was then when suddenly something struck Peter about the evening before. He jumped of his bed as the realisation sunk in.

“It can’t be!” – He said to himself. How did he not put things in place last night? He hated himself for overdoing on the alcohol. His choppy memory was coming back, little by little. He reached for his wallet, and ransacked the visiting cards he had in his pocket. As he saw the name on the card, he knew he had to call Steve.

to be continued …..

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