Andy is waiting for us in the lobby on the ground floor. We cross the street to Victoria Square.
I think Andy wants to know what I’m doing about the voluntary redundancy but he is more interested in showing us a photograph of his latest girlfriend. I don’t think it even registers when Ben says Dave’s putting his hand up.
‘What’s her name?’ I ask him, as he scrolls through the photos of her on his government issued iPhone.
Cindy is the fifth girl we’ve seen photos of since Andy split with his wife six months ago.
Jasmine delivers our coffees and rolls her eyes when she sees Andy’s iPhone. She knows all about Andy. He’s chatted her up, too.
‘Where did you meet her?’ asks Ben.
‘At George’s. You should come, Ben. You should see the girls there.’
Natalie, Ben’s wife of twenty years, walked out on him last year. Andy’s been trying to get Ben to join him on his hunting expeditions.
‘I’m not ready, besides I’ve got the kids to think about.’
‘Haven’t you and Nats worked out an arrangement yet?’
‘She’s still too depressed to take on the kids. Haven’t you noticed that she’s still on sick leave?’
‘Still, it’s not fair that she’s dumped the kids on you. At least Brenda takes Luke every other week.’
‘This Cindy got kids?’ I ask.
‘Yeah, she’s got a girl about the same age as Luke. Her former partner’s like Brenda. He has the kid every second week.’
‘So, have you got your weeks aligned?’
‘Didn’t even have to ask Brenda to change. Worked out straight away.’
‘I guess she wouldn’t have been at George’s at the right time otherwise,’ I say.
‘Funny how it works like that,’ says Andy, with a smile.
‘What’s she do?’ asks Ben.
‘Works for Immigration.’
‘Perhaps you should transfer over so you can spend more time with her.’
I can’t see that happening. Andy’s too focused on getting to the top of the ladder.
‘Bit early for that, but I reckon she could get one of those jobs we’ll be advertising once we get rid of all those old farts like Dave.’
Obviously he’d heard enough of our earlier conversation to know what is going on.
‘You’ll get your turn, Andy?’
He looks at me.
‘You know, to be an old fart.’
‘Some of us think he’s already had it,’ says Jasmine, as she gathers up our empty cups.
Ben nearly falls off his chair. Andy goes red in the face. We return to the office, laughing and ribbing Andy as we cross the street.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish