Chow Mein for Jermaine

Jermaine had been away from Swindon for a while. He couldn’t remember precisely when he left, but he knew it had been sometime in May.

He’d had a hankering, one Wednesday night, for Chinese food and set off in search of the perfect Chow Mein. He had begun by visiting the local take-aways but soon realised that none of them were up to snuff. A train ride to London soon followed and Jermaine sampled as many noodles as he could in a fortnight.

As he said “so long,” to Soho, Jermaine ventured east until finally (several months later) he stepped off a cargo vessel that had come to rest in Shanghai. Jermaine stayed until he’d tasted every last morsel of Chow Mein in the country. His family and friends often wondered what had driven him to just get up and go. A postcard every month, sent to all he remembered (care of his parents) was all anyone ever knew of his continued existence.

It was a cold February morning the following year, when Jermaine returned to work. His manager, a puzzled look upon his face, couldn’t believe his eyes. His colleagues thought they were looking at a ghost. No word had reached them of Jermaine’s travels. Jermaine himself had never discussed a sabbatical or leave of absence.

He explained that he hadn’t died.
His manager explained they’d mourned him.
He explained, again, that he hadn’t died.
His manager explained he no longer had a job.

He returned home from work to find an eviction notice tacked to the door.

Written as part of a writing exercise for Today’s Author.



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