I’d been standing in the pouring rain for what seemed like ages. Yet more skulking in the shadows, smoking too many fags and generally looking like some perv out spying on innocents – in some ways not too far from the truth.
Pfft! She’d been inside far too long, what was keeping her? Just then, the door opened a touch and some weirdo long hair type shiftily eyed the street. I was confident he hadn’t spotted me but ducked down anyhow. A few seconds later and odd bod briskly upped the pace towards the pavement. A few animated looks back and forth, before pulling his collar up and shifting gears away from the house. In two minutes he was a sodden as me. Disappearing into the distance I imagined scenarios where she’d been bludgeoned to death in the house by Mr Weird. That image was quashed when the door opened again and she hurriedly skipped down the steps to her VW van, jumped inside and lurched away from the curb, wipers going ten to the dozen.
I made a split decision and legged it my trusty wreck of a Volvo estate and gave (discreet) chase. Passing through a series of traffic lights we eventually left the hustle of town and were in open country. Being summer (if you can believe that!) meant enough traffic still lined the country lanes for me to be three car lengths away. Had she made me? I doubt it, although caution is always the best approach with this kind of thing.
20 mins later and the skies had ceased leaking, sun was poking from behind steadily clearing clouds and the thermometer gauge was rising. Stopping in a car park overlooking the cliffs swirling seas below crashed against cliffs. Blue sky was in full effect now and I gazed out of my window thinking about my surfing days of yore. Why had I stopped?
Dwelling on this far too intently I hadn’t noticed her skipping (again) along the cliff path with aims of reaching the golden sand below. If I gave chase I was sure I’d stand out like a pimple, but if I stayed put I could possibly lose her.
Ditching my far too cliché coat and hat I hurriedly rolled shirt sleeves to elbows and tried to do an impersonation of someone who should be here. Ruffling my hair I perched a pair of cheap aviator style sunnies on my nose to feign ‘the look’ further.
Panting slightly I eventually touched down on the sandy beach (when did I become so unfit?). Squinting left and right I could just make her out in the distance. I picked up my pace, splashing through shallow pools of saltwater. If my shoes were of a more expensive type I’d have been cursing but being the tight wad I am a 20 quid pair of unbranded loafers getting destroyed by seawater didn’t register one iota.
I was almost upon her and could smell perfume hanging on the now light sea breeze – it always fascinates me how weather in this country can change so rapidly. A few more steps and I was within speaking distance. I could see a group of young girls all sitting around on towels. Tentatively I made my approach.
She looked up, a quizzical look on her face. I smiled and tried to look less like someone who had been essentially stalking her. Her frown slowly turned to a beaming smile and in a split second she was up and flinging arms round my neck, kisses raining down on me at the same time.
‘Daddy!’ She exclaimed. ‘What are you doing here?’
‘Happy birthday little girl, I wanted to surprise you’, I said, pulling the small gift wrapped parcel out of my back pocket. ‘You didn’t think I was going to miss my surfing daughter’s 18th beach party now did you?’ I winked and she hugged me again, all Little Miss Sunshine and the main reason I get out of bed in the morning…
If you liked this instalment of NCW PRIVATE why not check out part one –