It isn’t easy to believe that Peter still could not allow things to settle before chancing his arm again. He determined to return the very next Thursday.
I had long exceeded my limited supply of nervous energy and refused to sit with him. I faded into the far corner to observe how things would pan out.
He ordered a portion of fish and chips and made a great show of unfolding his napkin and spreading it across his knees.
I knew what the napkin contained for he and I had filled it from the base of a light shade where numerous flies had been attracted to their deaths.
He called the waitress over and there was an animated exchange that I couldn’t overhear. Then the manager appeared and the volume increased.
‘YOU? This just IS NOT POSSIBLE!’
He paused and I guessed he was thinking. A bright light lit up inside his head.
‘That’s IT!’ He beamed at his own powers of deduction.
‘It IS NOT possible! You are a FAKE!’
For a long moment I was certain he was going to strike Peter.
I could see from my friend’s face that that was exactly what Peter hoped for. There was no other way out for him.
With truly extraordinary restraint the manager firmly escorted the young lad from the Department Store. He was ordered NEVER, EVER to return.
This was a terrible sentence for any young person. This was our meeting place!
I waited in the corner for what I gauged to be a respectable time, before leaving.
But I went unrecognised, as usual.
This time my apparent invisibility was certainly to my advantage.
I wasn’t barred.