He longed to get out of the cold. Into the warm, by the fire. Well, radiator for his was a modern house. They’d just moved in, Carl Larsen and his new family, finally out on their own after living with her parents for so long. Carl always thought that this was no way to live a family life, but needs must as the children were young and Elizabeth wanted to stay home and look after them, Carl’s wages as a freezer man at the local Sainsburys didn’t add up to all that much.
Against all the odds they had finally got a place to call their own. Not a council place neither. Carl had saved every penny he could, he’d stopped smoking and drinking, much to the displeasure of his friends. Not that Carl cared because he didn’t much see them anymore outside of the freezer. “Pub trips cost money” he would say as he watched them disappear into the warm bosom of the Dog and Duck. Still it would all be worth it, a fine roof over the head of his family.
Elizabeth’s mother had always said he wasn’t good enough for her darling Liz. Elizabeth hated being called Liz, that was the first thing she told Carl. “If you want any type of chance with me, don’t you call me Liz mister.” As Carl recalls he made some oh so witty quip about being able to call her Mister Liz instead, as bad as it was it seemed to work, as she smiled and just a month later she was pregnant with their first child. Not caused by the smile, at least that’s not what Carl recalls.
In spite of the pressures of bringing up a baby in the presence of potential in-laws two hamsters and a black and white Collie named Dave. Carl and Liz had a great relationship with a love that was very British and understated, but very strong. Elizabeth would often take baby Maria and Dave on long walks around the town, where she would meet another Dave and his Boxer dog Audley. She told Carl of their first meeting.
“It was funny,” she said. “Him having the same name as the dog”
“Yes.” Carl replied. He was tired, double shift in the freezer.
“And his dog. Such a lovely gentle Boxer, Dave… person Dave” she laughed. “Said that that’s why he’d named him Audley”
“Harrison.. the rubbish boxer.”
“You know less than me about boxing how did you know that.”
“Person Dave..” she smiled. “he told me.”
Baby Maria chose this juncture to wake from her slumber and end this fascinating dialogue. Over the next 6 or 7 months Carl would hear lots more about “Person Dave” and Audley inbetween shifts and sleeping. It was all Elizabeth seemed to talk about, she walked “Dog Dave” 3 times a day rain or shine, often leaving Maria with Grandma for hours at a time. Person Dave, apparently, was an architect who worked from home, as Carl recalled. He apparently got Audley from Dogs Trust or the RSPCA, Carl was dozing off when she told him this. Person Dave had wanted a dog because the “Poor soul” (her words not Carl’s) had lost his wife to cancer 3 years back and he was lonely.
7 months or so after the first “Person Dave” conversation All “Person Dave” comments stopped. Carl was glad of the break. He was preparing things for the move into the house that “Person Dave” helped Elizabeth pick out. She didn’t walk the dog much anymore. Maybe because baby Maria was now older and “Mother and Toddler” groups were the order of the day.
6 months and 27 days since the first “Person Dave” conversation, Carl borrowed Elizabeth’s phone, his was on the fritz due to the cold of the freezer. At 9am at the start of his second shift that day he received the text message from “Person Dave”
Carl still longed to get out of the Freezer, as he had on that day. As he did every day, still it kept his family warm, together and full of Sainsbury’s frozen food. Besides he had to work in the freezer, and stack the fish fingers in such a way so that no-one would ever find “Person Dave”