Flash Fiction · How to be British

Pint

Thursday, September 7, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Pint: 

Noun, informal 

A unit of liquid capacity equal to one eighth of a gallon; a pint of beer.

*Follow-up to yesterday’s Cheerio (2/3). 

“Inside a new cab, Odelle fingers the destroyed earpiece. She hates it every single bloody time their meetings may be compromised. Especially since she’s the one forking out the quid for the stupid devices. She’s tempted to tell the cabbie to take her to the nearest place to grab a pint, but she’ll have to hold off a while yet.

She sits impatiently as she crosses town. Then they arrive at her “destination,” Odelle pays and sidles out the automobile, and casually drops the electronic in the road, a perfect place for it to be eradicated.

She ambles round aimlessly. Hails another cab and mutters off another address. Glares out the window. Of all the times in the four and a half years her father’s been presumed dead, they’ve had to enact codewords twice: the first had been within the first fourteen months and was a low-level enactment. She never entertained he would feel the need to pull the second highest one.

‘Miss?’

She startles and shakes away her disgruntlement. Smiles apologetically at the driver and pays her fare.

And repeats the process twice more.

Despite the lack of safe words used, Odelle changes out the electronics frequently. She has no problem disposing a burner phone; those can be as inexpensive as she pleases. It’s the other things like ear devices and cam-cords and so-called priority electronics her father can’t go without that irks Odelle.

ᏪᏪᏪ

At the Tube, Odelle’s fuming grinds to a halt when she discovers her father inside the women’s restroom. She had been anticipating either a sabotage or an appearance from his associate cum lover. It’s not that she doesn’t appreciate Leanne’s hand in all this (whatever it is); but Odelle’s not met with her only surviving parent since two weeks before his not-death.

She locks her jaw and clenches her fists to restrain from verbally replying. She wants to ask why he’s here; why now. Doesn’t question how he snuck inside looking like he does. It’s hard, but she’s gone this long.

Her eyes soak him up. He is wilder than she’s ever saw him. His hair is now shaggy and copperish blond whereas before it was military styled and brunet. She wonders if hiding and running has made him stoop low enough to buy cheap hair dye at the chemists. Odelle quickly dismisses it. He could have; it’s more apt he’s been out in the sunshine and it bleached naturally. His colouring matches Odelle’s for the first time. His clothing is dishevelled and there’s honestly nothing to be done for the odour. Her nose crinkles and his bushy brows, nearly a unibrow, rises in response.

So that’s it? He asks silently.

What more do you want from me? Her shrug alleges.

Fair enough. 

Nothing is fair anymore, Da. Hasn’t been for a long time. 

I know. His murky blue eyes soften. His shoulders sag and his lower body twitches as if to take a step forward.

Odelle’s head shakes once, sharply.

‘I know-‘ his voice is gruff, somehow worse than over electronics, and he clears it twice. ‘I know it’s not been fair to you.’

Her eyes close as his words wash over her, soothing her.

‘Do you trust me?’

At his question, her eyes snap open. ‘There are days I don’t know if I trust myself.’ She whispers honestly.

A commotion, more loud voices and shuffling feet than anything else, causes father and daughter to straighten. The rest of the conversation finishes silently. If she follows him, she’s confessing her trust. And if she doesn’t and Odelle stays…well, she may as well sever all ties.

The man spins on his heel and paces further inside the restroom. Odelle watches. As the door opens, her head turns to catch sight of a mother and son, and she smiles innocuously. Then casually heads down in her father’s direction at a sedate pace.”

 

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