He’d set out to find the blue mosque, but he must have taken a wrong turning, veered right instead of left somewhere, because now he was lost within a mash of alleyways devoid of street signs. He’d tried asking for assistance, homing in on men in jeans who might speak English, but without luck. Did they walk on because they genuinely didn’t understand him or because they couldn’t be arsed to help?
The narrow lanes amplified the heat, sniping it from stone wall to cobbled wynd and back again, catching him in the crossfire. Sweat traced rivulets down his back while the searing sun reminded him relentlessly of his bald patch. Had Maureen come along, she’d have ensured he wore a hat. But she’d opted to remain in the resort, with a guard at the gate and round-the-clock buffet serving local and European cuisine. Part of him wished he’d stayed there too.
The holiday was a gift from their children; our three gorgeous girls as Maureen intoned at the slightest opportunity, though the youngest was in her thirties with girls of her own. Despite being presented in honour of his retirement, Roy had known he’d have no say in where they pitched up. Even so, he was surprised Maureen plumped for Morocco. If it had been a lifetime’s ambition to go there, she’d been extremely adept at keeping it to herself.
There’d been talk of our three gorgeous girls joining them but, in the end, only the middle one, Hayley, could find the time. Or the funds. She seemed to have money to burn: when Roy proved unable to laze in the sun for more than five minutes without complaining of boredom, she’d collared the rep to book him a city break. While relieved to escape the sanitised splendour of the resort, Roy felt as if it were Hayley and Maureen who were the parents and he the child, banished to bed for fidgeting.
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