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The Island 19: A Late Night Visitor

Monday 2nd April 2012

It was gone 1l.30 pm by the time Jacqui Draper arrived at Jade Piggot’s flat in Binstead. With his belly full of pizza and beer Jacqui’s boyfriend Craig had gone all lovey-dovey on her and it had taken every ounce of thespian in her to persuade him that she had a headache. Eventually he dropped her outside her flat and as soon as she waved him off she shot indoors to get her own car keys and drove right round to Jade’s.

Now she was standing outside, finger poised to ring the bell, she wondered if she had done the right thing, coming round without even texting. The house was in darkness and Jade got really pissy if her six year old, Jackson, got woken up in the night. Then again, she would definitely not want to have to wait for the information Jacqui was going to give her. Tentatively she rapped her knuckles on the glass panel in the front door. No response. She tried again, this time a little louder. A light came on, moments later she could see the outline of her friend shuffling down the passage.

‘Who is it?’ Jade managed to sound half-asleep, fierce and frightened all at the same time.

‘It’s me, Jacq.’ Jacqui bent down to hiss the words through the letter box. ‘Open up Jade. I’ve got something really important to tell you.’

‘What?’ Extreme grumpiness was the top-note in her voice now.

‘Let me in and I’ll tell you. Go on Jade. It’s freezing out here and I can’t keep whispering through the letter box.’

She heard the rattle of the key in the lock. The door swung open and Jade, dressed in a candy striped onesy and vast fluffy pink slippers, stood back to let her in. ‘Sssh,’ she pressed her finger to her lips and jerked her thumb over her shoulder in the direction of Jackson’s room.

Jacqui led the way down the narrow passage to the kitchen at the back. Jade filled the kettle, put tea bags into two mugs and got milk out of the fridge before she said, ‘What’s up. This better be good. Do you have any idea what time it is?’

‘It is good,’ said Jacqui. ‘You are not going to believe this. I’ve got his number.’

Jade continued to stare at her, blank faced and bleary-eyed.

‘His number. You know, Carl. I’ve got it right here in my phone.’

Still no response.

‘Oh come on, Jade – how many blokes’ numbers are you missing? Carl. New Year’s Eve Carl. Blonde skinny Carl. Keys Carl.’

‘NO!!’ Jade was suddenly wide awake. ‘Where did you get it? Have you seen him?’

‘Craig gave it to me. He met him in the pub in Bembridge. Apparently Carl came right up to him. Craig didn’t know who he was at first, but then he started talking about you….Craig says he’s a nice guy.’

‘This means I can call him, Jacq. I can get the keys back, I’ll just tell Donna I found them, I……what am I going to say to him?’

‘That’s what we’re going to work out. You make the tea, I’m thinking.’

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01983 564949