That’s How I Got to Manchester

He drives us down to some pub under a bridge and we sit in the corner, he’s got the weary look in him that says he’s been working way too long. I show him the note, the one Steve left and he smiles like he recognises it.

‘I should tell you now, I don’t know where he is.’

‘He’s not working with you?’

‘Not anymore, not for a while now,’

‘What happened?’

‘Man, I can’t believe it’s you,’ he says. ‘He said he had some girl coming for him, said she was beautiful but dangerous, described you so often, in so much detail, that… well we all thought he was just making it up, but then, here you are. Jeez.’

‘What happened to him?’

‘Got himself fired.’

‘What for?’

‘He owed some money to some people, drug people, it was only like four hundred quid but these guys were getting arsey. Threatening him, all sorts. So Steve, he comes up with this plan.’

I can already see where the story is going.

‘One night he invites one of the guys to the restaurant, the guy comes in, buys a bottle of beer at the bar, Steve takes the tenner off him to pay for it, and gives him four hundred quid change.’

‘And they caught him?’

‘CCTV. The tape got passed around everyone for months after he got fired.’

‘And you don’t know where he might be?’

‘I don’t know, honestly. But look, I gotta ask you because it’s killing me here. You came here for him? All this way?’


‘He said you would. He said that one day you’d come here for him, maybe he just figured it was gonna be sooner.’ He looks at me. ‘You know what he’s like, you know what he does, how much of a fuck up he is, and you still came here for him. I gotta ask… why?’

Big capital letters – HARD TO SAY.

He spies some people he knows and waves over at them, they come over and ask him about work and life and some girl called Becky but he doesn’t introduce me, and they don’t ask him about me. When one of the guys in the group looks at the table I snatch the letter and stuff it into my coat pocket. They say their goodbyes and head out the door.

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3 Responses to “That’s How I Got to Manchester”

  1. May 13, 2009 at 11:41 am, Shirley Friedman said:

    Read your story. Did I like it? BIG CAPITAL LETTERS. No, just kidding. I really enjoyed it.

  2. May 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm, Chris B said:

    very nice Dan, i really like your writing style- great flow!

  3. September 17, 2010 at 10:48 am, CB said:

    So did she know him? Who IS he?


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