34 – The Flat Battery

I looked over to Mums car, she looking at her phone quickly, Brad was feeling about to find another can of cider, and Tom was for some reason, holding a box of doughnuts through the window.

Do you want one Ryan ?‘ He was asking.

‘ No thanks mate.’ Ryan declined.

‘ Have you got any car leads Mum?!’ I shouted across Ryan.

‘ No..!’ She shouted back, across Brad, who had found a full can and was mid-sip.

‘Feck.’ I said to Ryan.

He was getting grumpier and grumpier, so I really didn’t want to tell him about the money in his account. And I really didn’t want to have to remind him that without the extra cash – we’d have to stay in the car. For another month.

He decided to ring his boss, Lee. He got on with him so it was no trouble. Although it meant him seeing the car – which also meant he’d see that Ryan was living in it. With his girlfriend.

Like a weirdo.

Biting the bullet – he rang him. Explained what he needed and Lee said he’d be a few minutes, it was no trouble at all.

Ryan tried the car again but it was definitely dead.

‘ Well – when we get the flat, I can have a van to drive to work, so we can fuck this car off..’ He mumbled to me.

I wrinkled my nose.

Yeah…. I checked the bank today….’

I said it in that tone. The ‘ I’m about to give you some bad news but I’ll smile at the end to try and make you feel better and not to shoot the messenger…’

‘ Yeah ? And .. how much …..?’ He knew what was coming and he knew it wasn’t going to be good.

‘ There was £840 in there…’

‘ What ? Why so little ?!’

I don’t know ! I don’t know !’ I said holding my hands up. I didn’t know. But I felt like he thought I did.

‘Honestly. I printed off a mini statement…’

I rifled around for it now. I hadn’t even looked at it myself yet.

Ryans wage had gone in. It just wasn’t as much as we’d calculated. He was earning a lot less than we’d realised.

‘ So that’s it then.’ He said, defeated.
He closed his eyes and leant back into his seat.

Mum poked her head in my side.

What’s up Ryan Lion?‘ She said in a sing song voice.

‘ Nothing..!’ He said. ‘ Just tired.’

It irks me that he does that. I never see the point in pretending things are ok if they aren’t. It isn’t a weakness to admit that you’ve fucked up, or things aren’t going your way, or you are just worried. But Ryan is proud – this was his girlfriends mum, not his.

He didn’t want her to know that he was failing me, whether I believed that or not.

‘ He didn’t get paid as much as we thought’ I explained.

He gave me a dirty look.

Mum looked at him sympathetically.

‘ I know how you feel mate’ she said.

‘ Work all month, get paid fuck all…! Join the club.’

Ryan gave her a dirty look too.

*****************

Lee came, got his jump leads out the car, said hello to me, and got to sorting the car out.

Just try the keys again mate‘ he called over to Ryan, who’d sat back in the car.

He put the keys in, and the car came alive. It was running.

Now we felt like idiots.
Luckily Lee laughed it off, said it happens to all of us and say goodbye.

I told Mum the plan –

Drive to Bodmin. Get settled. Have dinner.
Me and Ryan would go a view the flat the following morning, we would all meet up and go to the beach.

Sorted.

Mum followed us to Bodmin and we had the most glorious fish and chips I’d ever had. Ryan was panicking about money, but I shrugged it off – it was a few quid – I told him.

We were screwed anyway.

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