Simply the best…

Dave – for that was what he had to be called – had set the alarm for 05:12 in the morning. Straight out of bed and on the floor into the press up position. 3 sets to failure, groggily at first then with increasing energy as his body woke up. Morning routine – teeth, face, shower, antiperspirant, aftershave. All done within 30 seconds of the time he had allocated when he planned his actions the night before. Best suit, most expensive shirt and tie combination. He tied his tie 7 times before he is happy with it.

Breakfast was a banana sandwich for the slow release carbohydrates and 1.5 cups of coffee. Dave had read the research on the time caffine persists in the system and knew the optimal dose to be alert but not jittery at 10:30. Today was his. Nothing would be left to chance. Today he would show her.

At 06:12 the train to London arrives in Doncaster, bang on time. He waited on the platform in the right spot for his carriage to come to him. This left time to rehearse in his mind every scenario imaginable for how this meeting would play out. There were a myriad of possibilities, countless questions he could be asked, but all the different timelines inevitably converged on one outcome: Promotion.

They had to. This was his last chance. The divorce would be finalised next week but while there’s life there’s hope. Believe. Take this opportunity and everything would turn around.

Don’t dwell on the negatives. Don’t think yourself out of form. Where’s your positivity, Dave? On your phone, that’s where. It’s time for your boost. White ear buds rammed in your ears and go to the playlist you put together last night. The song starts and his adrenaline surges, bassline ascending like prowling tiger. “I call you when I need you when my heart’s desire”….. The other people on the carriage look around. Someone smirks. I don’t care. I’m Simply The Best!

200 miles further south and 6 hours previously, Carl and Michael had got out of bed. They were more haphazard but no less organised. Hat, gloves, bolt cutters. Their purpose was self enrichment, same as Dave’s but their methods were nefarious. Half a kilometre of copper cable, unguarded by the railway and worth hundreds in scrap.

The heist is hardly text book and they made a bloody mess of the control booth but they left with a car boot full of shiny metal. For this they got £157.43 from the local shadey scrap merchant who made 5 times that from selling it on. The money had been lost in a bookie by the afternoon.

There was one other inevitable consequence to their morning’s activities – chaos om the railways. The whole of North West London was paralysed while emergency repairs were effected.

After 3 hours going nowhere on a crowded train, Jenny finally admitted defeat and called her boss to say she’d be working from home today. She’d have to have her meeting with David next week….

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