I feel so cheap and dirty. I should have listened to everyone. Back in Banbury, they warned me not to go and live in London, the big city, full of dark dangerous deeds, depravity of every sort, colours and shapes in varieties undreamt of. While decent folk are sipping Horlicks before bed, Londoners are getting ready to leash all manner of wickedness on the world. I should have listened.
I don’t know why I did it. I saw you standing there, looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to fall into your trap like a hapless fly caught in the web of a plump spider. I was tired – it had been a long day, and I needed something to make me feel better. I had had a drink at the pub with some friends earlier – maybe that is why I had done it, although I had only had two pints that night. You just stood there patiently, looking at me, watching me in my uncertain deliberation.
Don’t do it, I said to myself. I knew I was on the edge of a precipice. If I gave in to my desires, my life would never be the change. Some deeds simply cannot be undone. It is late, nearly midnight, go home, I urged myself. But somehow I carried on standing there, looking over the edge, at once not caring if I fell, yet fearing the fall.
You carried on looking at me, urging me on with your eyes, catching a glimpse of my uncertainty, and knowing you had succeeded in your vile design. Helplessly, I looked at you, holding my innocence in my hand, like a caged bird, ready to fly away. I suddenly felt a resolve - I didn’t have to do it, I could walk away, uncorrupted and with my head held high. The choice was mine. I picked up my rucksack and made ready to go. As you saw me, your eyes showed a flicker of impatience, followed by a sad smile. That did it for me. I was defeated. I succumbed to the inevitable, became a city man, and cast off my naive country ways. I walked right up to you and looked you in the eye:
“An angry whopper and small fries please!”