Monday, 28 May 2018

Round 22.


The pieces of orange peel were dropped from the open window of a BMW on Sunday afternoon, and lay in the winter sunshine on the grey tarmac of the B223, one mile from the intersection with the A12.

The driver’s name was Sam and he was unaware that the orange peel can take up to six months to decompose.

It will still be there on mid-summer’s day.

Jennifer Thomas, driving a Ford Focus in the opposite direction, saw the orange peel and decided to stop and pick it up; she is environmentally aware.

Unfortunately her driving awareness has been severely reduced by the growth of a cataract in her left eye and she didn’t see Johnny Tomlinson in her rear view mirror; he was driving a Ford Transit Van.

The Van was blue.

No one was hurt in the crash but the orange peel was forgotten in the aftermath of insurance details swapped and phone numbers noted.

Jennifer decided to return home, she had only been intending to buy bread in the local market and she was late enough now to be certain that the baker had packed up his stand.

Johnny lives in the market town so he continued on his way once he had cleaned up the glass from his broken headlight; he would have picked up the orange if he had noticed it.

As he passed the cinema on the edge of the town he waved at Jackie.

Jackie was on her way to visit her father, Rodger, who had fallen two weeks previously.

Rodger hadn’t noticed at first but he had broken his shoulder and now it was in a sling and he could only use one hand.

Rodger is 93.

Johnny knows Rodger; he spoke to him on Saturday night at a dinner party.

Rodger told him that he had cancer and that he was dying.

Johnny didn’t really know what to say, nothing he had learnt at school or the furniture factory where he worked had prepared him for such a moment.

“We are all dying”, he replied.

When he said this he was looking at the fire that was burning in the fireplace.

The flames were warm and homely.

And orange.

It would have reminded Johnny of the orange peel laying in the winter sunshine on the B223 if this moment had taken place on Sunday evening instead of Saturday.

But the pieces of orange peel were dropped from the open window of a BMW on Sunday afternoon.

Sometimes time is back to front.

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