P. 7

Janokovic takes the last drag of his cigarette and spits; it's a habit he has. For a

                   moment he stands as if he has to pull himself together. He ends the cigarette
                   carefully under his rubber boot and begins to move in the opposite direction

                   than the other three through the city. First through the tourist area with hotels

                   and pubs, then along The Lanes up to St. Edward Hall, where he jumps on the bus
                   and goes for a trip to White Hawks, from there he goes the final stretch to Manor

                   Hill number 43. As he walks down the small garden path leading into the

                   townhouse, he can hear the TV roaring from inside the living room. He can't look
                   directly in, but he knows Mom is sitting right by the window in the worn red

                   sofa. He turns around and looks from side to side to see if there is anyone. None;
                   not even Jack's white Ford Transit is there.

                     He puts the key in the door and enters. The mother's voice sounds loud, as it

                   bounces through the house.
                     "Why?" She shouts on the phone.

                   He’s guessing that she's talking to Jack as usual. He walks past the room where

                   the noisy television is on, and down the narrow corridor; the light in the hallway
                   consists of a single bulb, that hangs in a short cord without lampshade in the

                   middle of the hallway. Jack has put moving boxes along the narrow corridor, so
                   he has to walk sideways to not bump into them. There are boxes of "antiques", as

                   Jack and Mom call it. Jack is selling it this weekend.

                   The small two-storey townhouse has a sour smell of moisture, slightly burnt
                   food, ketchup, mixed with a pungent smell of synthetic washing powder and the

                   constant odour of a million cigarettes.

                     "Why should I go over there?" He can hear Mom say inside the living room. Her
                   bright voice, which in a second, can turn into an almost peeping voice, that mice

                   would have in old cartoons. Mom is unique compared to the other women on the

                   road she always wears nail polish and high heel shoes - whatever the weather,
                   just as she insists on drinking sherry every day.

                     "A real Croatian woman does that. It keeps sickness away," as she always say.

                   "Hey, is that you, Jano?" Yells Mom, and for a moment she lets the phone rest on
                   her shoulder. She had heard him come in, though he tried to slip as silently

                   through the doorway as he could.
                     "Yes," he shouts back.
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