Viv jumps out and so do I – I nip round the front of the van to the ticket mahine to buy a ticket.
“Hang on we can only stop an hour,” I say.
“Well that's not enough,” she says. “You don't want to have to find somewhere else in an hour. Let's find a better one now.”
I nip round the back of the van to go back to the driver's side and just as I do I see a guy walking fast past the front of the van. What's more I remember I just heard a click like the van door being shut. But it's not shut properly and when I open it and start to get in I see my coat's been disturbed on the seat. It was neatly piled up and now it's spread all over.
I put two and two together and stick my hand in the inside pocket of my coat. It's gone. My wallet. It's not there.
Viv's still on the pavement starting to get into the van.
“Damn!” I say, “he's nicked it.”
“What? Who? What?” says Viv. She hasn't seen anything.
“My wallet. That guy who just went past must've nicked.”
“That guy,” he's just disappearing round the corner of the side street a little way down the road.
“Fuck!” says Viv. She gets back out of the van and starts to run down the road but she can't see him.
“Round the corner,” I say, indicating with my hand. Meanwhile I've started the van and am pulling out into the traffic.
I get to the corner. It's no entry - a one-way street but I turn into it anyway. Viv has already gone around and is a little way up. There's the guy just rushing off as I pull the van up again.
But it seems she's not pursuing and as I stop the van she holds out my wallet.
“Fuck!” I say.
She opens the passenger door and hands me the wallet. She's shaking. I'm shaking.
“Fuck!” she says. "I'm shaking!"
“Fuck, I know right,” I say. "Me too!"
“Check it's all there,” she says, like she's ready to go after him again if it's not.
I flick through. There's nothing missing.
“Was there money in it?” she says.
“No,” I say. “Fuck!”
“I came up and he was just there standing in the entrance here by that car. I wasn't sure it was him but he was just standing looking at something in his hands and I came up and stared at him and he just said 'Sorry, sorry, sorry!' and chucked it on the ground and ran off.
“Fuck,” I say, “Thank fuck for that!”
“He was more scared than I was.”
“You were amazing! Thank you! God I'm still shaking!”
“Me, too,” she says. “But... oh I don't know.”
“I don't know... but I feel bad for him.... I want to give him a fiver.”
Then we sit in the van and work out how things could have gone so much worse!