It took the wind out of my sails, returning to the House of Bannerdown, seeing the works carried out in my absence.
I noted that the pillared porch had been assembled incorrectly so that they stood several meters away from the house itself, built in a discordant fashion, so that the head of the porch had been positioned half way down the columns making an improbable ‘H’ shape. Clearly this was architectural incompetence.
Rory’s business partner appeared somewhere nearby and struck up polite conversation. I noted with interest that his T-shirt bore the motif of the Cross of Lorraine ; my banker mark and symbol of choice. Curious.
I mentioned that the relinquishing of my services had failed to make any sense in the days that had passed since our parting of ways and I was keen to really know why.
He gestured to a transparent polythene bag filled with old books and said in a flat voice.
“Rory didn’t like the way you had stolen the library books.”
I immediately protested that I’d never seen the bag of books in my life.
I asked whether that had been the only reason, he then said
“Rory didn’t like the fact that you disagreed with our suggested working methods.”
Feeling more impassioned, I began to blurt about how those methods would have delivered a catastrophic effect on the decaying stonework of the house, that those window mullions would just disintegrate upon the first frost of Winter.
“The Mullions would disintegrate?”
He said, keeping his impartial,and somewhat doubtful flat tone.
In a melodramatic moment I went on to say how the phone call in the pouring rain, where it was established that we would not be working together any more broke my heart and that I’d really loved working with them.
Neither of which was true. Replace ‘broken heart’ with disappointed and ‘loved’ with enjoyed, it would be a more accurate but this was in the heat of the moment.
The partner just repeated the words “Broken Heart?” like a terminally bored business parrot.
His Cross of Lorraine T-shirt kept drawing attention to itself and I began feeling silly for sounding so melodramatic, something about his angelic appearance was unnerving and I couldn’t shake the feeling that his repetition of certain phrases was some kind of verbal ploy to illustrate the unlikelihood of my own garbled sentiments.
All in all, I felt quietly relieved when I finally opened my eyes.