Jeff kept his professional smile as he showed the couple around the car dealership.
“It’s a very reasonable price,” he said. The Ford Fusion gleamed. “Very low mileage and we include a full service before delivery.”
India’s lips were pressed together so hard that you couldn’t see her lipstick. “I don’t see why I have to pay out for that kid.”
“Sweetheart, it’s my godson. He’s seventeen, he has a hobby…”
“He’s a spoiled brat.” She turned back to Jeff. “The kid is just going to take it to pieces. He hasn’t even got his licence yet…”
“He’s got his test booked…” Jason said helplessly, taking a swift mouthful out of a small flask as India turned back to Jeff.
India hadn’t noticed the flask. “I have to scrape by and make do, but when it comes to the kid he can’t say no.”
“His name’s Oliver.” Jason muttered.
India shrugged then turned to Jeff. “Honestly, something a little cheaper.”
“He should have been called Nancy.” Jason mumbled.
“Oliver can see it as a project. What have you got that needs work?”
“I wouldn’t let them call him Bill.” Jason managed another crafty mouthful from the flask.
“You’re making less sense than usual.” India looked at Jeff. “Anything?”
Jeff smiled. “Between you and me, there’s one vehicle we weren’t thinking of selling at this moment,”he said with absolute truth. It was booked for the scrapyard. “It’s a fixer upper, but at a very good price.”
“What do you mean?” India followed Jeff to where the wrecks were stored.
“It’s a nice little car.” Jeff waved a hand at the wreck in front of them. “Once it’s done up it could be quite desirable. Is the lad handy?”
“He’s a good lad.” Jason said quietly. “Good with his hands. I was thinking of taking him on as an apprentice.”
Jeff watched India’s hands clench into fists and then slowly unclench. Then her shoulders slumped. She nodded. “We’ll take it.”
“Why don’t you look it over while I sort out the paperwork.” Jeff didn’t like leaving people alone, but today was an exception. “I’ll be back in five minutes.”
Jason slumped against the Toyota, shielding India as she knelt next to the wheel arch and quickly felt inside. She looked up. “Keep talking to cover me,” she whispered.
“She could have called him Sikes,” Jason said, his voice getting a little louder. “She never called him after me.”
“Hang on.” The woman struggled a little then nodded. “I’ve got it.” She pulled out a small, tightly wrapped package. “Okay, let’s stage the argument and get out of here.”
Jeff was shuffling the paperwork on the when he heard them shouting.
“What do you mean, he’s your son?” India yelled. “I can’t believe it. After all these years!” She stormed over to their car and threw herself into the driver’s seat.
“Sweetheart…” Jason scrambled into the passenger side as the car rattled out of the yard and screeched around the corner onto the main road.
Jeff shrugged. He may have lost a sale, but at least he didn’t have a headache.
Originally published June 5th 2017