Two things are still plaguing Berkeley—the unexplained and strange disappearance of Leonard, and the possible outcome of Mohammed’s retrial for a manslaughter charge. They say bad things always come in threes, and in Berkeley’s case that belief is no exception. When Berkeley gets a call from one of his best friends from London, Paul, his dose of bad karma is completed when he discovers Paul’s younger brother, Kenny, has been killed in a tragic car accident. Berkeley does his best to pacify Paul and stop him from going through with his ludicrous plan. In exchange, Berkeley has to agree to go back to London for the Trade reunion party. Berkeley and Paul have the time of their lives, but when dawn breaks and the party’s over, all hell breaks loose.
Berkeley was woken by the sound of the doorbell ringing loudly. He looked at the clock and cursed himself for oversleeping and not being up to greet Mohammed and let him in when he arrived. He crawled out of bed and grabbed his dressing gown hanging on the back of the bathroom door. Once he’d put it on, he hurriedly made his way to the front door. As he walked, the doorbell rang again. He called out to who he assumed was Mohammed to tell him he was on his way. As he clumsily made his way to the door, he reminded himself it might be a good idea to give Mohammed a key for the back-entrance gate. That way he’d be able to let himself in without disturbing Berkeley if he’d had a late night. Or on that occasion, a rough night—one that included thinking about the lack of response from Leonard, the fear that Tim’s ghost hadn’t passed over to the other world and could kill Leonard, and the prospects of Mohammed’s retrial.
Reminding himself Mohammed had to go on trial again for a manslaughter charge prompted Berkeley to think a key to the back gate would be fine, but keys to the house were strictly off limits. Even though Berkeley was almost a hundred percent certain Mohammed couldn’t have been capable of deliberately taking somebody else’s life, he still needed more reassurances he wouldn’t attack him or somebody else if he got into an argument.
Berkeley opened the door and found Mohammed leaning against the door frame. He was holding his head in his left hand and seemingly stabilising himself with his right hand.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Mohammed? You look dreadful.”
Mohammed made an attempt to prop himself up and staggered forward. “I no feel good. I drinking with my friends last night.”
“Right! In that case, I suggest you go home and put yourself back to bed, just as I’m going to do. I can’t believe you’ve turned up here in this state. I pay you to work, not turn up at my doorstep drunk, or hungover.”
“No. I work. Is okay.”
Berkeley put his hand out and gently tried to ease Mohammed back out the door. “You wait outside and I’ll call you a taxi on my account so you won’t have to pay. Mohammed, I really don’t want to see you in this state again, and you’re certainly in no fit state to work right now. Go home, and if you’re better tomorrow, you can come back to work. Please don’t ever turn up at my house in this state again. Is that understood? If you do, it’ll be the last time.”
“I sorry, Berkeley. My friends make me drink. Now I feel bad.”
“Well, go home and sleep it off.”
“You give me something to eat. I hungry.”
“No, I’m sorry, Mohammed. I’m not letting you in here like that, so go home and eat something when you wake up.”
Mohammed turned around and staggered toward the gate waving his arms. “I see you tomorrow.”
Berkeley shut the door and called his taxi company. He explained his friend was a bit worse for wear, but told them he’d pay them double if the driver helped Mohammed and made sure he got to his place safely.
Berkeley looked out the window and saw Mohammed sat on the floor outside his villa. He dreaded to think what the neighbours were going to think, but his main priority was Mohammed made it home safely.
After a few minutes, Berkeley saw the taxi pull up outside his villa. The taxi driver got out the car and shook his head. When Berkeley thought he was going to turn down the fare, he quickly ran to the door, opened it and ran outside. “Please, he’s a little bit tired and hungover, but apart from that, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”
“Yeah, well if he’s sick in my bloody car, you’ll be paying for it to be cleaned up!”
“Hey, I don’t think you need to worry about that. He hasn’t eaten anything, and I’m sure if he were going to be sick, he’d have been sick by now.”
“Well, I hope you’re right. If I lose a day’s money because of this clown throwing up in my car, I’ll be back to see you.”
“That’s fine. Look, I’ll help you get him to his feet, and I’m sure once he’s in the car he’ll be fine. He just needs to be taken home. I’m not even sure how he got here in the first place, to be honest, but if he made it here okay I’m sure he’ll make it back home just fine. Wait here a minute—I’ll be right back.”
Berkeley ran into his villa, grabbed his wallet from the side cabinet, took out a fifty euro note and ran back outside. “Here, look, take this, and I hope it makes up for your inconvenience.”
“Well, I’m sure that’ll help, but if you’ve got a plastic bag or something, just in case he’s sick, that’d be great.”
“Stay there! Coming right up.”
Berkeley ran to the kitchen, grabbed the role of bin bags from under the sink and ran back outside. “Okay, take these and lay them on the seats and floor. That should do the trick.” Berkeley grabbed Mohammed and shook him. “Mohammed, do you feel sick?”
“No. I no sick. Very tired only.”
Berkeley tore off one of the bin bags from the role and handed it to Mohammed. “Listen to me very carefully, Mohammed. If you feel sick, try to be sick in this.”
“I no feel sick, but okay. I see you tomorrow.”
“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow if you feel well enough. And make sure you eat something when you get up. Do you have food at home?”
“Yes. I have food. With the money you pay me, I have food.”