On A Roll?

Young Comedian, Tony Peterson, Is On A Roll…He Hopes.

Spring, Year 5
Tony smirked as he saved his work. His career as a comedian was definitely going to be on the up when he presented this little gem the next time he was on stage. Closing the document down, he sighed contentedly.
He might not have much furniture; he might struggle to get the money together to pay the rent. But he had pride and his pride would enable him to become extremely famous for his comedy routines. He’d live in one of those really big flats in Uptown, with a view over the entire city. He’d be rich and very popular, with women falling at his feet and a drink in his hand.
Then his power went out.

Wary of calling his landlady out yet again, Tony reach for a screwdriver and opened the fuse box up. He’d got quite used to doing this lately. The flat needed fixing up, really but he didn’t have the time nor the money to do that. Nor was it his job; he didn’t own the flat, he just rented it.
Occasionally, he caught himself wondering what it would have been like, to stick it out with University and not drop out the way he did. Most of the time, he had those big dreams in his head and nothing could shake him. Sadly, when something major went wrong at the flat, that was the time he wondered if he should be doing things differently.

That evening, Tony was invited on a bowling night with his friends, Elliott and Tina. They weren’t as silly as he frequently hoped they were. For all his big talk about his comedy routine, they knew he sat in a freezing flat night after night, desperately trying to get one lounge or pub to pick up his comedy routine and let him perform live. A night out on Creek Street was just the ticket!

“She’s good,” Elliott admitted grudgingly as Tina knocked nine pins down with minimal effort.
“What does she do, practice between lectures?” Tony grumbled. He’d been throwing gutterballs all night and Tina’s victory dance was about to make him snarl.
Elliott laughed. “Hot head. Get over yourself, she deserves to win tonight. She’s worked so hard lately.”
Rolling his eyes, Tony grinned and slapped Tina on the back in congratulations as she sauntered past.

Elliott screamed with delight when he hit his first strike. Tony was busy chatting to Racquel, one of the students from the University and a friend of Tina’s. “Congratulations, mate!” he called as he glanced up at the screen above the lane. “I’m sorry, you were saying?”
“Don’t worry,” Racquel grinned at him. “It’s impossible to hear each other in here anyway.” She winked. “We should get together sometimes.”
Elliott raised his eyebrows as Racquel slipped away. “Did she just hit on you?”
Tony winked at his friend. “You’d better believe she did!”

The next morning, Tony woke up feeling grumpy. Elliott had managed to make him feel a twinge of guilt last night, when he’d entertained the idea of actually taking Racquel on a date. Elliott had casually reminded him he had a steady girlfriend in Claire and it wasn’t fair to her.
Tony really did like Claire. She was pretty, she was funny and she was intelligent. What more could he really want, anyway? He didn’t know Racquel; she was certainly pretty but was she funny and intelligent too?
In another fit of guilt, Tony shot a quick text off to Claire, inviting her out for an early dinner later that evening. After finishing his run, he went off for a shower.

“There you are, beauty!” Tony rose from the table by the window to greet Claire as she arrived at the restaurant. He’d taken her to the Tudor Tavern, a romantic little Italian restaurant in the old town of Windenburg. He knew Claire would love it.

“So how’s that routine of yours going?” Claire asked over dinner.
“Good.” Tony wiped his mouth. “Very good, in fact. I just wrote a fantastic routine which I want to use next time. They love me out there!”
Claire smiled politely. She knew Tony was exaggerating; she’d heard some of his jokes and stories and they really weren’t that funny. She really hoped he’d do well but she was convinced his calling was elsewhere – she just couldn’t put her finger on exactly where. It was a shame because Tony was so enthusiastic in almost everything he did. Unless it required restrictions, of course. Or taking orders.

They talked well into the night before Claire saw the time and realised she really needed to be getting back to Britechester. Tony initially insisted on seeing her to the station but in his slightly inebriated state, it was probably safer and quicker for her to go alone.
Drunkenly, Tony staggered out of the restaurant and on his way to what he hoped was home.

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