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An ongoing series set in college.
I guess Molly and the boys and your soap opera have been the focus of my life for months now. And suddenly they're not there."
"Have you thought, we have a long weekend coming up, and they do still run flights to Majorca, and they even run them back again on Mondays, even bank holiday Mondays?"
"I can't just descend on them for three days. It'd knock their holiday routine completely out. I couldn't, could I?"
"I'll check flights." She said and was gone.
She was gone a long time, before she came back and said, "Do you know, there isn't one appointment in your diary for tomorrow or Friday and Tuesday that couldn't be cancelled or postponed? And, there's a flight to Majorca leaving at nine o'clock this evening with space on it."
"Bloody hell, Carole. How did you do that?"
"Easy, you just look up airline travel on the internet." She said with a silly smile.
"No. That you can clear my diary for this week and Tuesday. Are you sure? I can't imagine John Wheeler letting me off that sales trip on Tuesday afternoon."
Carole smiled, "I haven't worked here sixteen years without knowing where a few of the bodies are buried. Let's just say I called in a few favours."
"You'll have to tell me."
"I can't. That was the deal."
I smiled, that was logical I suppose. And then looked at her, "Do you think I can?"
She looked straight at me, "I know you can. But it's up to you whether you do or not." She paused, and leant forward over my desk, "You haven't had a day off since you got here. And not only have you had to learn a new job in a new company, but it's probably been the most turbulent period of your private life ever. Personally, I think six days R&R would do you the world of good."
I stared her in the face as I made up my mind, "OK. I'll phone her. And can you clear a bit more of my diary? I've got to go home to early. I've got to pack and get to the airport by seven-ish, if it's a nine o'clock flight."
Carole and myself seemed to get through a lot of work in the rest of Wednesday. Every meeting I held seemed to finish early, and I squeezed three extra meetings into one day. I accused her of telling everybody that they had to be quick, but she only smiled, and said that it was surprising what we could do if we tried. I left at four o'clock, promising myself that I must bring back a present for Carole, she deserved it.
I came through from customs at Palma airport at five minutes to midnight, and all three of them were there waiting to greet me. Ben ran forward towards me and I swept him up in my arms and I hugged him, "You're up very late."
"Mummy said we could all stay up and come and meet you."
"And are you having a nice holiday?"
"Yes. We've got a swimming pool and there's a big one, and a pizza shop."
By now I had got as far as Molly and Jamie. I put Ben down and kissed Molly, but Jamie just stood quietly at her side. "Hello, young man." I tweaked his hair, "Don't you say Hello to your Dad?"
"Hi, Dad." He was smiling, but there was a vibe that wasn't quite right. I looked at Molly who mouthed, "It's late and he's tired."
Jamie on the other hand, was bubbling. "Come on Daddy, you've got to see the car Mummy's got." He said as he took my hand and started to pull be towards the exit.
The car turned out to be a perfectly standard Peugeot Coupe Cabriolet, but when your seven years old and on holiday, I guess driving around in an open car is exciting, especially if it's after midnight.
We got back to the villa, which was rather nice in a simple way. It was one of many in a large holiday complex, but it had it's own little swimming pool, as well as access to the big one at the centre of the village. And within ten minutes of getting there, we had the boys in bed. Both myself and Molly saw them to bed, and as we came out, we stood and hugged and kissed in the middle of the living room.
"What brought on your need to come out?" She asked.
"I missed you.