I had my mind made up that night. I knew I was going to leave before sun rise. I set my alarm to something ridiculous like 4AM so it would allow me enough time to pack my things and leave without anyone knowing.
I remember how cold it was walking down the stairs which were covered in snow.
“Hey, hey. Where are you going?”
‘Fuck’. I thought to myself. It was Tommy, a Slovakian who also worked and boarded at The Duke’s Head.
“I can’t stay here. Abel is a dick. I don’t know where I’m going. Maybe I’ll go back to New York.”
Everyone at The Duke’s Head knew I had spent some time in New York prior to arriving in the UK. And they all knew I was keen on going back there in the near future.
Tommy tried to convince me to stay but when he realised how set I was on not staying, he offered to help.
“At least let my friend take you to the bus stop or something, man. You can’t just be by yourself.”
Tommy opened the backseat and I hopped into the Volvo. And that’s when I met Franko.
He instantly made a joke about coming to New York with me. He said he had been talking to Tommy about his plans of going there and never leaving.
I remember just spending majority of the day being in the car with him. We drove all day. He took me to the fancy 5 star hotel where he worked at. He was a favourite amongst his co-workers. He said he managed to convince the manager to offer his friend a job there and felt confident he could do the same for me. I actually got as far as talking to the manager. I could tell he was hesitant and it was gonna go either way. Unfortunately I didn’t get the gig in the end.
Franko drove us to some province not far from Crawley. We sat down for lunch and tried to hash out a plan. I couldn’t believe I was on the other side of the world with two complete strangers trying to figure out my next move. I didn’t even have anywhere to stay that night.
On the way to some place, Franko spent the ride explaining the dilemmas between him and a girl he was seeing. Franko had a wandering eye and his head would turn whenever there was the sight of a beautiful girl.
Finally we arrived at some high school. Turns out he was seeing a 16 year old school girl. Franko was pretty much double her age. From what I gathered, he ended things with her. She left, we took off for Brighton.