Song Title Short Story #10

Memphis Tennessee – Chuck Berry

Bob cursed his luck, and his crappy mobile phone signal. He had three calls now where the line had cut out as soon as he had answered it. He had an inkling it was Marie, but he couldn’t be sure. It was three weeks now since he had last seen her as she was driven away by Charlotte.

Marriages rarely end well, and Bob and Charlotte’s was no different. There had been no particular incident, but over time they had just fallen out of love with each other. Bob had been the one to move out of the family home, moving in with his brother on a short term basis while the whole divorce played out and the house sold. In the meantime, Bob had continued to be a parent to Marie, and what’s more, Charlotte had let him.

It all came to a head one afternoon when Bob went round to pick up Marie for an afternoon out. He turned up as arranged, only to find the door answered by a strange man. Understandably, Bob wanted to know who this guy was in his house with his daughter. Charlotte came to the door and explained, curtly, that the man was Peter, and he was her new boyfriend.

“When were you going to tell me?” Bob asked, attempting to veil his anger.

“When the time was right,” Charlotte replied, her arms crossed in textbook defensive mode.

“Has he been staying over?” Bob asked, afraid he already knew the answer.

“Yes, he has.” Charlotte told him coldly and matter-of-factly. “And it’s not really any of your business any more.”

“Well, excuse me,” Bob raised his voice. “When it concerns my daughter, it actually is my business!”

The conversation was cut off as Marie came running down the hallway and launched herself at her dad. Bob caught her and held her in his arms. He told Marie to give her mummy a kiss and then led her down the path to the car.

About two weeks later, Bob was due to take Marie to a friend’s birthday party, and he drove round to pick her up. To his shock and horror, the road outside the house was filled with a removal lorry. Bob pulled up and leapt out, slamming the car door behind him. He couldn’t get up the path as two men were carrying out a sofa – his sofa – to the lorry. He shouted for Marie, and her heard a cry of ‘Daddy’ from a bit further down the road. He looked to see Marie’s head poking out of a car window as it sped off down the road away from him. He had tried to run after the car, but his general lack of fitness let him down.

And now, here he was, desperately hoping his daughter was trying to get in touch with him. His phone rang once again. Bob swiped his finger to answer the call and thought he could hear a young voice before the line went dead…

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