The two cars; Fiesta in front and Samba following, wound their way through the grey and dingy streets on the outskirts of Bradford: made all the more cold and frightening by the fact that ten pairs of eyes were now seeing the world through chemical specs.
‘Are you sure this is where the Aquarius is, Jimbo?’ Claire apprehensively asked her boyfriend.
The scenery had called for the music to be turned down low and all five wished it hadn’t.
‘Si knows where he’s going. Don’t worry,’ Jimbo replied and rubbed her knee.
‘Manningham Lane’s somewhere ‘round here,’ Gazza piped up.
‘Oh yeah, spent some time down here, have you Gazza,’ Alex said, smiling.
All eyes turned to Gazza.
‘Well, you all know I came from Shipley ‘til I was ten? Well,’ he carried on without waiting for a reply. ‘Mi Dad used to take me and mi brother round in the car, on a Sunday afternoon, to see the prossies.’
‘Bollocks!’ Nige laughed.
‘No, straight up,’ Gazza told him, looking slightly put out that nobody believed him. ‘He hated Bullseye, so he used to take us ‘round Manningham on a site seeing tour, sort of thing.’
‘And that doesn’t seem at all odd to you?’ Alex asked.
‘Fairy-snuff. And you never wondered how your dad knew about these places?’
‘No, Dad told us Granddad used to do the same. But I don’t think it was because Granddad hated Bullseye.’
Alex could never quite tell if this sort of statement from Gazza was him being his funny self or him being serious. So, he laughed anyway and Gazza joined in and everybody laughed at Gazza laughing.
Gazza always made Alex smile: only later on it had a sad border around to it.