They got inside Lenny’s old blue sedan, and backed out of the carpark, finding the main road.
“This was my last gig; you know that,” said Lenny.
“Yeah, I know. It’s been good working with you. Thank you.”
“It had to be me. No one else could put up with you.”
He was right. Mick couldn’t count the times over the course of his life where he had got sacked yet again for failure of getting along with other people.
“I can’t really help with the rent, Mick.”
“I wouldn’t ask you to either. You’re a pensioner, Lenny.”
“So do I see you at church this week?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there,” Mick said resignedly. “And don’t go telling anyone about my worries either.”
“Oh come on, Mick. There’s no one there that wouldn’t help.”
“That’s just the point. God gives a man strength and a will to live. If I can survive without help, no matter how tough it is; I should.”
An awkward pause followed.
“So do I take you home?” Lenny asked.
Mick shrugged. “Yeah. I might as well have another night in my own place before I get evicted.”
Neither man spoke until Lenny dropped Mick off by his front door. Wedged in the frame by the knob, jutted a piece of paper. It simply read, get out by tomorrow!
Not that the landlord had a legal right to do this, but Mick would leave. His landlord never liked him. The man always acted amiably. Relations soured quickly when Mick remained cordial and aloof. He looked around the single roomed domicile, built on a lonely turf farm, just outside of the suburbs. It had little furniture. Not having anywhere to store it, and knowing he would never use his possessions again, he began taking it all outside. Piling everything he owned into a huge pile, he returned inside the barren unit, finding an unopened bottle of single malt whiskey. He packed the clothes he thought he would need into a duffle bag and took them outside too. Placing them beside his feet, he poured some of the bottle over the pile and threw on a match.
It burned slowly at first, then spreading blue flames over the pile. Mick took a gulp from the bottle and took in the first of the stars peeking through the new dusk sky. He grinned feebly to himself. The Lord had got him through another day. For the next hour, he sipped and watched the flames as the sky grew black.
“What now?” he asked.
He often spoke aloud to God when alone.
“As one door closes; another one opens.”
Mick spun with the bottle raised high, ready to bludgeon.
The man he faced, wore an immaculate sandy coloured suit. He seemed gentle faced, and by his voice, quietly spoken. Scanning the open fields around the unit, Mick wondered how the stranger could have surprised him.
“I hope you’re not a furniture salesman,” said Mick.
“Actually, I’ve come to offer you a future.”