Sam had never been to court before. He’d seen it plenty of times on TV but it was different in real life. Bigger, noisier, scarier. Having watched most of the detective dramas that his Sky+ memory bank could handle, he knew the language, the instructions that were passed around the room, but even being there for the prosecution made him nervous.
He was early. He knew that. Far too early. It would be hours before he’d be called in. Less than that before the case started but he figured he’d probably have to stay in the corridor until then, on the hard wooden bench.
Maybe he’d stagger the coffee runs. One every half hour… or every hour. If he could last that long. But then he shouldn’t drink much in case he was in the toilet when they called his name. That would be unlucky. But he could be quick.
Even the solicitor wasn’t there yet. He’d met her once, at her office, coincidentally round the corner from his. ‘Finance Manager’ the sign on the door read. His, that is, not hers.
He’d not really wanted to get involved but being the only person to see what had happened, he’d not really had any choice. He’d been the one to call the police, the paramedics, the fire brigade. Waited until they’d arrived. Let them take a statement. The police. Given them his name.
And he was the one feeling guilty. He hadn’t done anything wrong. He’d just been cycling past the tennis court on his way home, a bit earlier than usual but it had been a nice day so he’d treated himself to an early finish. He was the Manager; no-one queries last-thing appointments when you’re the Manager.
So it was the wrong place at the wrong time. And he hadn’t really been paying attention, only you expect people to be playing tennis on a tennis court, don’t you? You don’t expect…. well, that. And it wasn’t even dark. Not close to it. Four o’clock on a June weekday. Six hours before it gets dark. He reckoned it had been a dare. On reflection, the woman hadn’t seemed that bothered. The guy looked less pleased but then he’d been in too much pain to say much. That would beat carpet burns any day.
Sam wasn’t sure where the frying pan came into it. Figured the gravel would have caused enough friction without adding Teflon to the mixture. Sam laughed at the omelette-type pun and watched a nervous young woman in a suit scuttle by. Not the same woman from the tennis court, Sam didn’t think she’d be nervous of anything, but a small shrew-like thing heading towards the courthouse ground floor ladies toilet.
It was the dog that Sam felt sorry for. Tied up in the corner, attached to the green plastic-coated metal fencing, having to watch… well, what Sam ended up watching.
He had to admire how nimble they were. He’d read snippets of the Karma Sutra and didn’t remember seeing a picture for the position they’d got themselves into. Didn’t leave much to the imagination either but then he’d had to admire theirs.
And to be doing all that while wearing see-through cut-out wet suits. Sam didn’t even know they existed but thought it might make his next trip to Blue Corner Wall a bit more interesting.
The paramedics hadn’t seemed that surprised. Sam thought he’d heard one of them call the woman by name… Sindy, Candy, something ending in ‘dee’. He laughed again and thought of Sandra Dee and how she’d gone from sweet to sexy in an hour and a half. Or however long Grease ran for. Sam couldn’t imagine the woman at the tennis court ever being sweet, although whatever the toffee-coloured goo was they were rubbing over each other may have helped.
Sam was debating another trip to the coffee machine when he sensed someone standing over him. He looked up and recognised the dark blonde bob and pale pink lipstick of his solicitor.
“Hello Mr Taylor,” she said, with the broadest, whitest smile Sam had ever seen. “Shall we go and have some fun?”
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