Dom stepped aboard the number one bus. It was emptier than usual, to the point where he could actually get a seat on his way to work. Wouldn’t this be a luxury, he thought. His Majesty wouldn’t be standing this morning. Nor would he be swaying and bouncing as the bus creaked around corners, no Sir. Dom usually got on the number one bus at about 7:20am, but considering the events of the last couple of days, he’d decided to get in early today. Maybe he’d try to have a friendly pre-work chat with Graham before his shift started, or maybe it’d be enough that he was there early, showing willing even on a Friday morning. That’d get him back in Graham’s good books and at least make his horrible job slightly more bearable. That’s why Dom boarded the nearly empty bus at 6:50am.
Once the driver had scanned the ticket that Dom showed her on his phone, the doors closed and the bus pulled away from the pavement, leaving Dom to do his Bambi impression, walking shakily down the central aisle of the bus as it stuttered and rumbled along the road. He took the first seat behind the “Priority” ones. He felt uncomfortable taking the priority ones, especially when there were others available. For similar reasons he’d never followed the example of his colleagues at work in using the disabled toilets. Dom was a decent person in this regard.
As he sat, he noticed a scratch card on the window seat next to him. Dom had only bought about two scratchers in his life, partly because he wasn’t that interested in gambling, aside from the odd quid on a football match he was watching and partly because he never had any coins on him. Yes he could scratch them with his fingernail, but then your nail goes a different colour and gets all of the top layer gunk under it. Dom wasn’t a fan.
He picked up the scratcher on the off chance that he’d stumbled across a winner. He hadn’t. All of the scratching had been completed by its previous owner, revealing the symbols and numbers beneath. There were a few symbols that repeated twice, but none that repeated three times, as was the win condition described under the panel. Dom folded the scratcher up and pocketed it. He was also a decent person in regard to the fact that he didn’t litter, unlike the scratch card’s original owner.
When Dom disembarked on Sovereign Street half an hour later, he was greeted by the familiar croaky voice of Homeless John. “Spare any change, Sir?”
“Sorry mate,” came the sympathetic reply in their daily game of call and response. But then Dom stopped in his tracks and after a moment of deliberation, turned ninety degrees and marched into an off license behind Homeless John. Dom went straight to the counter and bought two £1 scratchers with his debit card. One for him and one for Homeless John. One Hundred Thousand Pound Jackpot! The front of the scratch cards boasted. If you say so, he thought.
Dom stepped out of the off license and handed one of the scratchers to Homeless John. “Here you are, mate.” He said. “Good luck.” Homeless John took the gift silently before looking up at Dom.
“Got a coin to scratch it with?” He asked.
“Uh, no. Sorry mate.” Came the sympathetic reply. Homeless John gave him a weak smile, showing a few yellow teeth and nodded in thanks as Dom walked on towards the “Computer Guys!” building.
Just as he had the day before, Mary Jane clocked Dom as soon as he arrived on the second floor and just as he had the day before, he dragged him straight into a meeting room. Initially, Dom wondered what he’d done to earn a second red-faced one-sided screaming match in such quick succession, but was surprised to find that Graham wanted to apologise.
Dom wasn’t to know, but Graham had received a bit of an earful himself from his floor manager, who had told him that if someone would rather drink away their day than go to work, odds are there’s something wrong and it was Graham’s job to find out what that was. Was Dom depressed? Was he stressed? Like actually medically suffering from stress? Had there been a bereavement that they should take into consideration? Yes, Graham had received quite a bollocking, so he pulled Dom into a meeting room and apologised.
After assuring Graham whole-heartedly that he was not suffering from depression or stress, not that a doctor had verified anyway, nor had there been a bereavement, he headed for the door. “Go get ‘em, tiger.” Said Graham, hilariously straight faced. Dom had his back to his team leader, so allowed himself a quick smirk.
From there, Dom’s day got better and better. The customers that phoned him were polite and cordial, allowing him to build a rapport and even… Dare he even think it… Have fun helping them? He was happy. He was confident. He was in a great mood. A fantastic mood, even. So when Dom received a text from Neil at lunchtime, enquiring about his availability for a few cheeky after-work pints, Dom’s answer was an enthusiastic yes.
Thank fuck it was Friday.