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Okay part 4A of my Lew Ashby and Renfield Turnbull story is here.
It has been a while but this story keeps nibbling at my toes and eventually I had to write a little more.
I think part 5 will come quicker now (it could hardly come slower I know!)

And as a reminder here is the first part of the story because I know it really has been a long time:
link to Part 1

The line went dead, Hank, the bastard, had ended the call without giving him an answer. Lew glared at the phone, contemplating hurling it at the fancy mirrored wall behind the bar. Instead he finished the rest of his drink and ordered another, which he sipped slowly while the considered if they’d throw him out of the hotel or just send him the bill, if he smashed their fancy bar with his stupid phone.

The phone bleated, like it knew it’s impending fate. The email icon flashed and Lew stabbed the screen with his finger and read the email he‘d received from something called The Cuisine /Art.

L Ashby
Booking 007/42 confirmation:
090129, start time 10.00am.
Three days. Residential.
Equipment provided.

Lew rang Hank’s number again. He started speaking as soon as he answered the call, “Moody what the fuck?”

“Think of this as an early Christmas present.”

“We don’t do that shit.”

“I know man, but Becca spent all that time picking this out just for you.“

“Bullshit, she spent ten seconds on Google and picked the first thing that came up.”

“For your information Mr If only I was actually as clever as I think I am I already had this saved in my favourites, as a possibility for something we could do when I come and visit you on my Spring Break. ” Clearly Becca had snatched the phone from Hank.

“Becca, Sweetheart, you know your Uncle Lew would love it if you came to stay, but I bet your mom won‘t.”

“Uugh don’t refer to your self in the third person, it makes you sound like a psychopath. Even more like a psychopath. And Uncle Lew? I don’t think so!”

“Yeah kiddo, it was a little creepy. And soon as I settle somewhere that isn’t this fu…er…fine hotel I promise there’ll be a room with your name on it. A plaque, with glitter and a sparkly crown saying “Princess Becca’s Room” in pink. As long as it’s okay with your mom.”

“You are hilarious. But despite that you will be permitted to decorate a room for me, according to my specifications. So hurry up and find somewhere to live. And for your information mother has already agreed to my stay in Vancouver.”

“I’m trying. All the good places here are gone, they showed me a boat, a goddamned fu…freaking boat. Becca, sweetheart, a boat.”

“You really have become a whiney cry-baby, Ashby. Get. Over. The. Fucking. Boat!” Becca had obviously tossed the phone back to Hank.

“I just don’t get it. Honestly do I look like the kind of guy who lives on a boat?”

“A Pirate ship maybe.” Hank laughed and continued, “But seriously Is it really that hard to find somewhere? Some of those places you were checking out looked pretty. And you’re so fucking rich you can afford ten of them, even after all the shit you gave away.”

“Yeah. Well, good on paper maybe but when I saw them for real it was like the mansion all over again, you know? A big place for just one person. Soon enough I’d be hiding from all my shit. Then I’d realise how empty the place was and have to find ways to fill up the space and before you know it I’d be back to all those bad old habits. That’s why I looked at the stupid boat, because at lest there’d be other people around. I think maybe that‘s what I need to keep me honest. Other people around. At least then there might be someone who gives a shit if I live or die.” It sounded to painful even to his own ears, too fucking much like the edge of somewhere Lew never let himself go to, so to dispel some of that self-pity he added, “Fuck me, Moody I think moving to Vancouver turned me into a girl!”

Hank didn’t laugh like Lew had expected, and his voice was serious and a little pained as he replied, “Seriously man, there already are people who give a shit. Becca, even Karen. And me, even if I am a blasé cock-sucker most of the time, you know I give a fucking damn.”

Lew’s throat tightened suddenly and he couldn’t find his voice. He’d always been a maudlin drunk, he knew that about himself. That’s why the drugs and not alcohol were his weapon of choice. Drugs made him high, they made him numb, they made him forget to care, made it so there was nothing to care about. But get a couple of drinks in him and all that fucking shit he hid showed up.

The useless parts of him that wanted it all to mean something. That believed there was goodness in people, even himself, that didn’t need to hide behind sarcasm and attitude and joyless sex. The part of him that just wanted to love and be loved in return. The part of him that always forgot no one wanted to listen to this shit, especially not from The Great Lew Ashby.

“Hey Ashby, did you fall asleep?”

Lew was staring at the final sip of whiskey in his glass, he shook his head in reply, but then realised Hank wouldn’t see that so he cleared his throat and said, “No not asleep. Just thinking stupid stuff.”

“Me too. Miss seeing you round here, my friend.“

Lew sighed and tipped his glass back swallowing the last mouthful. They had been having variations of this same conversation ever since the day he left LA for the last time. But the repetition was comforting, so he replied. “Yeah, I miss you too, buddy.”

“Get some sleep, motherfucker, you need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for cookery school tomorrow.”

“About two decades too late for that, asshole. Good-fucking-night.”
Lew was still laughing when he shut the phone off. He counted out enough bills and left them on the bar and headed back to his room.

As he got undressed he considered searching for the details of the cookery school on-line, but he felt pleasantly tired, enough that he might get to sleep without a pill and he didn‘t want to waste the chance of that. He smiled to himself as he lay down.

Lew knew he was losing his edge, that he had become someone seriously un-cool. It was something of a revelation that the highlight of his day was a good night’s sleep that wasn‘t chemically induced. That the only things he missed from the life and dirty times of Lew Ashby were his perfectly seasoned omelette pan, Hank, the one person he had ever considered a true friend, and the opportunity to be a small part of Hank’s family.

It should have depressed him, he knew that. Maybe as little as three months ago it would have depressed him. But a lot had happened in those three months, and while he would never utter the word in public he had to admit to himself that it felt nice. He switched off the light and closed his eyes. As drifted towards sleep he wondered what it would to be like, going back to school, even if it was just cookery school and even if i was only for three days. Lew was smiling a little as he fell over the edge of sleep.

And now link to Part 5


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2013 03:40 am (UTC)
It was a lovely surprise to see this update, and I absolutely love the way you write Becca :D
Feb. 13th, 2013 09:56 am (UTC)
Thank you for you lovely comment. I am so glad you liked it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )