Return trip

Monday 9 July 2012

While I am putting some items into the boot of the car, I see Mr CJ walk past — no doubt returning from the corner shop. Moments later, I speak with him over the front garden wall. He tells me that he and Mrs CJ will be on school-run duty for Charlie and Karl on Tuesday 10 and Tuesday 17 July.
Shortly after 10:30, I go to the post-box on Victoria Street with a newly-arrived A4 envelope that I have marked “R.T.S.” A well-known media company regularly sends junk mail to the Old Man’s house. If I keep returning it, hopefully the company will stop sending it.

Not long after 10:50, a dark 3-door Oignon parks alongside the Efords’ grass verge. Two women get out. Under a shared umbrella, they walk towards the school. One of the women is wearing trousers, which are unflattering on her rather generously-proportioned posterior.
At 11:13 a red car approaches — it is the same model as the red car on the Trimots’ drive. After performing a U-turn with reversing, it parks opposite the middle entrance or just beyond that point.
A blonde mother in a green anorak (hood down) and denims is descending the far pavement, towards the school. Outboard of her is a 2-year-old boy in a reddish anorak. The expression on the boy’s face is unequivocal: “I mean to be taken seriously.” His mother is not holding his hand.
At 11:23, Mrs Parker’s Escargot is two-thirds onto the pavement, with its rear half alongside the junction-box. Three minutes later Mrs Parker returns to the car with her son who has the hood of his anorak up, and a baby in a push-chair. Two minutes after that, the car departs.
Only a minute or so later does Scarlett’s car arrive from the direction of Cypress Crescent. She parks not alongside number 35 but opposite the upper entrance, nosing in to the space. She crosses the road, and after she passes through the middle entrance I see her on the “walkway”. Almost immediately after she disappears at the end of the walkway, she reappears, making her way out; Tiny Boy must have been waiting for her at the classroom door or outside the classroom. I can’t see Tiny Boy on the walkway, as he is too short.
On the pavement outside the school, Tiny Boy is holding his right arm up quite high, and is enthusiastically waving it about. Over four months after I first saw him, he still seems tiny. I think Scarlett is holding his left hand. In her left hand she is holding a few sheets of paper — presumably artwork created by Tiny Boy. His anorak is open, with the hood down, and I glimpse what seems to be a blue pullover.
Scarlett ushers Tiny Boy into the nearside rear of the car. As she does so, I see the blue interior trim of the door. Before opening the driver’s door, she takes a look up the road, no doubt checking for traffic. She drives off without delay, and at George Street she turns left. It is not much more than two minutes since she arrived on the scene.
The dark Oignon is stlll parked in the same place as forty minutes ago. It is still there at 12:08.

[Original posting 9 July 2013]

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2 Responses to Return trip

  1. Louise says:

    I love your description of the expression on the 2-year-old boy’s face :-)


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