Continued from yesterday

Thursday evening.

I have supposedly spent ages cleaning the house, taken the LTLP out for a nice meal and melted her with my new man-ness.

Picture us. Back at the cottage, locking the car, the first nip of a new autumn as we crunch up the gravel drive in the crisp darkness.

And the sudden realisation that I don’t have my front door keys.

Several pats of the pockets later and they are still most definitely not there.

“What’s the problem?” offers the LTLP. “I’ll just grab the spare set.”

We keep a spare set in a secret place. (Not the place that you are thinking of, Mr. But there is a problem. A big problem. The problem being that I have given the spare set to the cleaner that does not exist.

“They’re not there,” I blurt.

“What do you mean they’re not there?!?”

“They’re not… there.” And then – stroke of genius – “I think a bird took them.”

She looks at me as if I’d just started hurling cheese at the upstairs windows.

“Don’t be so stupid. I’m going to look for the spare keys.”

“They’re really, definitely not there!” I plead, truthfully. “I looked earlier, when it was light.”

Honestly. I know she’s desperate to get me into bed, but if she would just keep still for a moment and trust me.

“It happened before – remember? Because they’re shiny. A bird took them.”

Much as you may scoff, my story wasn’t that implausible. They had been moved before, to a nearby ‘nest in progress’.

She pauses, then drops a bombshell.

“We’ll go next door to Short Tony’s,” reasons the LTLP. Short Tony also has a spare key. Their lights are on, they are at home. No problem.

But there is a problem. A big problem. Again.

Because the Short Tonies know very well why the spare keys aren’t there. But I haven’t had time to prime them about my small and innocent act of subterfuge. They will immediately give the game away.

She heads off purposefully towards the gap in the fence.

I am but moments away from discovery.

Concluded tomorrow