Monday 31st May 2010
Gestation: 35 weeks, 3 days
One year ago.
“So you’ve decided to go on holiday?”
“Three weeks. Well, not quite. Two-and-a-half, really.”
The travel agent goes silent. “Really,” she manages finally. “In the middle of the school holidays?” Her voice breaks slightly.
“Yep. We’ve been waiting to hear about my wife’s jury duty for a while. To see whether she would get it off.”
“You get it off for shitting in your pants, don’t you? Wouldn’t have thought you’d need much of an excuse to get out of it.”
“My wife has a social conscience.”
“Okay,” says the travel agent, “one of those.” I choose not to start a fight with the woman who may get us overseas. “So what you looking for?”
“With just your wife. No kids?”
“No kids. Yet, that is.”
Jesus. I’m like a broken record.
“You want romance for just you two?”
“And you don’t care where exactly?”
“Just somewhere relaxing.”
“Then you need a kid-free zone. A resort that only allows sixteens and over. Email through your budget, and I’ll see what the hell I can organise with two-and-a-half weeks notice, right in the middle of children’s holidays.” I hear a baby cry in the background. “Don’t worry, I’m good. I’ll sort you out,” she yells over the noise.
“That’s what we’ve been told. Joel put us onto you.”
“Ah, Joel,” she says, her voice swimming slightly.
“Yes, Joel.” I let it sit for a second. “So, I want you to think of Joel in his speedos, on holiday, and wherever that scene is, is where we want to be.”
The woman laughs so hard that the phone goes dead.
I’m not sure if she meant it, or if she dropped the phone by accident, or if this mother went limp at the thought of Joel.
* * * * *