Walking aimlessly and hopelessly through the streets of Liverpool, Frank suddenly found his feet led him to the editorial board, which until recently, more precisely, six months ago, he was working. However, the statement "six months ago" at the moment he is unlikely to be able to prove with unshakable conviction. Unconsciously, drawn by an unknown force, he opened the door, climbed to the second floor and stepped into the corridor leading to the Department, which had once been his workplace. And at this moment in the hallway, with its reverse side, it seemed to figure, from which the owner, Frank, to be honest, had time to break the habit. He was always hustling to a meeting, you can even say the rapid, gait approached David Campbell.
- Frank, come to me. I have to make conversation with you - flew down from the lips of David at the time when they almost missed. You hear it does not bode well for the statement, the meeting with the chief editor Frank would go completely silent due to the fact that Frank was not mentally ready for this meeting. While Frank was trying to give his thoughts discordant least some direction, David was gone.
The fact that David had no right to give him any orders, it was obvious to Frank. He, Frank, had long since resigned from the editorial board, and now is an independent person from journalism. And if so, David Campbell, Frank Bailey is not a decree. After all, he is a famous writer ... At least, he was named recently ... Despite this categorical conclusion, Frank still trailed in the office of the chief editor, which could not find an explanation. At one point he even likened himself to a rabbit, which is supposed to become a breakfast for a boa constrictor, although it could not assume the role of his life still play these furry long-eared animals. By coincidence, around the route of one of the editorial staff are not met. "Maybe it's for the best," - Frank consoled himself. She knocked and entered, Frank to snivelirovat admission of discourtesy, giving:
- Good morning, David.
Sitting in his chair, David, hearing the greeting, oddly plucked eyebrows.
- Good afternoon, Frank.
There was a pause. Colleagues looked at each other appreciatively. It was hard to imagine what he was thinking right now, David, but, as Frank, he frantically tried to figure out what can be expected in the next few minutes. It should be noted that neither the previous nor the moment Frank could not say anything bad about David. Moreover, it can be argued, however, apart from the circumstances of subordination in the service position that connects them friendship.
- Sit down, Frank - said David, the first to realize that the silence dragged on. - I asked you to come to know what's happening to you.
It was hard to understand what he was getting.
- Nothing much, David. Why are you asking?
- Nothing special ... then please tell me, what happened to your alarm clock? So you just walked up to date and posted on purpose, I suggest you remember when we started working day and then look at the clock. Huh? You feel the difference? So, I am waiting for your answer. Do not you have time to stop?
"That's it!" - Frank's mind finally became clear. "David thinks I'm still working at it! Who is already far not even noon, and, of course, he was angry, believing I was late ", - he decided. The thought that the mystery of severe behavior David unraveled somewhat relieved that allowed Frank to take the floor. In the end, it is time to speak out. In addition, David was not the one to whom he could not trust.
- Hey, David. No, you first promise me that you will not laugh. You can not even guess you were right in saying that the time has stopped. It is not just stopped ... No, it did not stop. It went backwards! David, do you believe me? It's true!
- The real truth is always implausible. It seems so say your Dostoevsky?
David fingers began to drum on the table a little that still experience Frank took as evidence of the growing excitement.
- No. I mean, yes. But you listen to me. Imagine the situation that ended today. What do you think will come? Do you think that tomorrow? Tomorrow will be. Tomorrow will not even yesterday. Tomorrow we go back a month ago!
- I think I'm beginning not to understand. But in any case I am seriously concerned about your condition. You should seek medical advice.
- I'm perfectly healthy, David!
- I'm sure this is not, but if you say so, listen to me, Frank. - Fingers slow rhythm, and you can understand what their master willed himself back to normal. - Listen, you will never can accuse me that I unfair to you. I knew, and I understand that you aspire to more in life than to be a journalist. I know that you try to write. And that desire is praiseworthy. Tell me, honestly, I have let you in this? Hinder? That's right, is not hindered. Although sometimes your passion proved to the detriment of our common cause. Remember when you're in a report from the offshore platform mistakenly inserted a paragraph from his first fable? Okay, I will not do at this stop. Frank, my friend, you've got to realize that by working in our editorial office, you have to keep yourself within the rules common to all of our employees. Work is work. Now it is this work allows you to live and, therefore, to engage in literature.
Word about earning their daily bread pain echoed in my heart, Frank. He remembered that it depressed the last few days. Days or months, running back - what a difference now. Resource constraints, or rather, lack thereof, made by Frank flashed grasp the idea that according to David, he was still a member of the editorial board. David went further to say something, but Frank has mastered the idea of ??a fresh start. Again, he will publish his novel, and everything will change for the better.
- Do you agree with me? - I brought him back from heaven the voice of David.
- I agree. Excuse me if I failed you, David.
- Fine. Then remember, I gave you yesterday assignment to write an article about the addition to the family of hippos in the zoo of New Chester. Here's another list of contact numbers. Go and start working. Tomorrow brings results.
- Thank you, David.
- OK OK. Go and do not forget what we talked.
Frank came out with a timid suggestion that fortune rescued him, and he re-instill some confidence.
Verve, however, was only enough to reach the department. At the sight of the familiar door of his sudden sadness swept. This door is by its very existence symbolized the return to the starting point, and the need to open it for Frank meant the collapse of all his hopes. After a moment's hesitation, he pushed open the door yet.
Around a large drafting room, reigned usual for such a revival of the institution - moving staff, hear their voices, ringing phones, printers rustled. Nobody ignored the appearance of Frank, as if there had been no separation. As soon as John Forrester asked the reason for his late arrival. "I went to New Chester. Interviewed newborn hippopotamus "- Frank replied, unable to think of anything more intelligible. John grunted as if to say that he does not mind if Frank stood now on the wrong foot.
Going to your workplace, Frank found on the table books, records, pens, pencils, all that he once carefully collected and brought home. The latest discovery made by Frank legs buckled and he sank not that, but rather collapsed into a chair. His head in his hands, he withdrew into himself, and showed no signs of reflection. Although his eyes were extensively wider than normal, open, it is also obvious that the exchange of information with the outside world is in the direction opposite to the conventional. An outside observer's eye in his country could be a reflection of prividitsya devilishly colorful masquerade mask which resembled our smaller brethren of various calibers and different suits, as well as with those of our natural scientists have not yet been classified.
How would deeply Frank was not removed from reality, eventually a light touch on his shoulder brought him to his senses. It became clear that the time since he came to the editorial department was a lot. This can be concluded from the fact that the staff member in the room there was only Helen. That she touched Frank, and thus probably contributed to the fact that he did not have to find yourself in the middle of the night edition. Returning from the world of chimeras did not bring any peace or bodily relief. Moreover, his head buzzing strained that could be considered normal, if we agree that the heads can perform physical work.
Helen and her husband, Mike, Frank was known for a long time, ever since his student days, when they learned the basics of journalism. Mike at the undergraduate became interested in scientific subjects and began to cooperate with the popular science magazine, whose name is Frank now would not be remembered under any circumstances. They came to work with Helen in "Flash Chronicle", and Frank never noticed that Helen stated her regret about the decision. Unlike Frank, who, as we know, made desperate attempts to achieve fame, Helen satisfied with its position. How could guess Frank, it suited her its stability and predictability, which clearly contrasted with his current situation.
- Do you want coffee? I just cooked.
Not waiting for an answer, Helen set down two cups of coffee. At this point, Frank felt gratitude to Helen for her participation in it.
- Thank you.
- Well, tell me what happened to you? He quarreled with Jessica?
Jessica ... Strange, but in recent days he has never thought about it. Jessica was a friend of Frank. They met last summer. In one of the weekends, Frank was invited Mike on a sea voyage. At the same time Mike used the uncommon persistence in campaigning. One only fishing fan that Mike himself was, it was not enough, especially since Frank was indifferent to her, finding no charms in vigil for a fishing rod. So Mike was forced to resort to the promotion of healthy lifestyles, and Frank was tempted by the sun, the sea, the fresh air and the opportunity to turn away from the daily bustle. When Frank arrived in the cove, where Mike kept his boat, and went to his side, then in addition to Mike and Helen he found a lovely creature named Jessica. That is how it introduced Helen. Frank was also introduced himself as a creative person, that among other things could mean impractical in everyday life of man. Jessica and understood, and the future proved that she was not mistaken. Jessica was in some distant kinship with Helen. She recently moved from his hometown and worked Stratton real estate agent. Proposal for a walk she came from Helen. Jessica did not have to beg - she was extremely pleased with the opportunity for outdoor activities. About Frank it was not notified in advance, as Helen was not completely confident in Mike's diplomatic abilities. During the entire time of movement to the point that Mike has long been a fancy for successful fishing, Frank looked away and did it with such a meaningful look, as if he was tasked first to see the Irish coast and immediately report it to the captain. Left to itself, because Helen was engaged in provisions in the galley, Jessica first admired receding shore, not far then passing cruise ship flying a plane in the sky hovering gulls. Everything seemed fine, and even centered Frank did not violate the general harmony. Frank himself would not be able to explain why, in dealing with women, he lost his intelligence, and presented himself in this light that suppressed all further relations. Probably the same thing were to happen and this time, if not for Helen and Mike. After the engine has been muted, and the boat hove, Mike announced that before eating and recreation need to work, and therefore he gave Frank and Jessica on the fishing rod, seated next to them at the stern, he somehow lost sharply interest in fishing and went to paint something, thinking that everyone will believe that it is more convenient to paint in the sea than on land. Nobody, however, did not investigate the reason for the absence of Mike plausibility. Frank and Jessica began to share the experience of fishing nonexistent, as a result they have found that they have much in common. It was not said out loud, just each of them thought of the interlocutor is very, very warm. Gradually, the fish was gone from their conversation, and he began to be more general, subject to discussion where all that came to mind. Frank was still surprised that he was able to talk meaningfully so long, while Jessica noted that without Frank's walk would not be so charming. Flushed from communication and content that is not caused damage to the world's oceans, they responded to the call Helen, invites all to eat. Neither Mike nor Helen were not interested in the results of fishing - it was enough to see the excitement on the faces of Jessica and Frank, indicating the success of the plan. Ashore, Frank asked permission to call her Jessica tomorrow and obtained consent.
Since the beginning of their relationship. Frank was very proud of them, and therefore references about Jessica painfully echoed in his soul. Although that proposal received from Helen to share adversity, Frank, bearing in mind the failed attempt with David, did not dare to use it. Instead, he turned the conversation in unexpected Helen track.
- Helen, do you have any idea, since when our newspaper was the coverage of the life of the beasts?
- You're a hippopotamus?
- It looks like, but I do not know about it. What is he famous?
- It is striped.
- So what?
- Look, I do not know all the details, but last night, I do not know how, but David has learned that the New Chester Zoo Hippo born striped. He, that is David, was very excited and said that it was a real sensation.
- Helen ... I ask again uncomfortable, but what is the actual situation ... unusual?
- He striped! A striped hippopotamus does not happen.
Frank while still looking at Helen, comprehending what she said.
- Just does not happen?
It is the turn of Helen closer look at Frank.
A few minutes passed in absolute silence, finally, Helen urged to drink coffee and go home, justifying it by the fact that the house will be better including Frank. Frank did not have a strong desire to argue with this argument, and he agreed. When leaving the building, Helen offered to drive him home.
- Thank you, Helen. Then somewhere near, I left my car.
- You fix the car? - Helen somewhat surprised, knowing that the old machine Frank demanded more funds for repairs, but because for a long time there was laid up.
- No, I threw it out and bought a new one. Otherwise I would have been difficult to get to the house, because I now live in Birkenhead.
It sounded strange to Helen, but she did not ask new questions, and decided to consult with the pre-Mike relative seen and heard today. She never, and Frank she knew a long time ago not to celebrate in his behavior no unexplained oddities. He was always simple and clear, and even his desire to become a writer - many people knew about this he cherished dream - can be regarded as quite natural, without introducing in his portrait is nothing unusual. They warmly said goodbye. Frank also conveyed greetings to Mike.
Surprisingly, Frank soon enough remembered where he was, being upset, he left his car. And this circumstance he considered the main success of the day, because in order to get even two blocks to the car, I had to undergo testing weather. He still was not used to that summer gives way to him in the spring, and the spring, in turn, in the winter. It was dank January evening he dressed for spring, but because shivering, got into the car and started the engine. The time for thinking was not, as it was already very late, and had to return home as soon as possible - tomorrow morning to travel to New Chester.
Driving past the house Nightingale, he drew attention to the dancing in their window color shade. "Watching TV", - he concluded Frank and sighed. It's always depressing uneven distribution of worries and concerns among people. Why is it, Frank, was destined to get stuck in this story? He stopped in front of his house and out of the car. In the middle of a deserted street there was no one to whom we could address this issue.
The clock in the living room a quarter to midnight. Force was only enough to get to the couch, but more and was not required - further happened under the influence of Earth's gravity. Without wasting your time, Frank was asleep.