“G'day, mate. Thank you for ...”
“... no worries, mate.”
Obviously a real man, thought Luigi. No wasted chatter.
“What's your address, mate?” he asked, matching tone and diction. “I'll come and pick Cody up.”
The other man gave his address while Luigi looked around Keith's sitting-room for paper and a pencil. “Hang on a tick! Just looking for a pencil … Right, what was it again? And what's your name mate? Michael? Good, Michael. I'm Luigi. Mate, thanks again for helping Cody.”
At the other end of the line, Michael clearly had several questions he wanted to ask but couldn't work out how.
“We'll talk when I get there, Michael. See you in 45 minutes.”
When Michael asked whether he wanted to talk to Cody again, Luigi shook his head, forgetting that Michael couldn't see that. So Michael asked again.
“Yes,” said Luigi.
“Lou?” Cody was tentative. Luigi could hear the strain in his voice, and he felt his heart wrench. Once he'd loved this man more than anyone he'd ever loved, in all his life. And that someone'd proved to be … flawed. Did he still love him? Yes, blast his eyes, he did.
“Coad … I'll see you in three quarters of an hour. Take care …” and then, hesitating, instead of “love”, he ended with “mate”.
“Yeah,” Cody replied, his voice full of doubt and hurt.
Episodes 1 to 220 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter)