Kevin was waiting in the car park with the window rolled down and music playing from the radio. In the wing mirror, he spotted Gerald lumbering along under the weight of the post bags and started the engine. Gerald walked up to the passenger side and tried the handle, but it was locked, so he knocked on the window. Kevin waited for the song to end before unlocking the door and turning up the radio.
Gerald sat down, with one post bag between his legs, the other on his lap. ‘Morning,’ he said reaching out to shake Kevin’s hand. He looked reproachfully at Gerald, then put the post van into gear and drove off.
It was still only 5:45, yet the music blasted out, shaking the windows with bass. After a couple of minutes, he could feel his head start to ache from the noise. When they reached the corner of Mallard Close and Vale Road, Kevin slammed on the brakes, causing Geralds seatbelt to lock and his neck to strain against the g-force. He quickly disembarked and as the door clicked shut, Kevin was off, wheels squealing as he floored the accelerator.
Gerald picked up the bags and took a deep breath. His route was the most affluent in the city, tree lined roads, large houses – quiet. It was a coveted route, but Mr Andrews had given it to him out of spite – if only he knew.
As Gerald walked up the driveways and delivered the mail, he peaked inside. This early in the morning, people were still half asleep and unaware who was looking through their windows. The smell of coffee and breakfast wafted in through the letter boxes as he delivered the mail. These people with their expensive cars, their huge houses, their trophy wives. He nodded and smiled when they naively waved to him, unaware that 10 seconds ago he’d been watching.
It took him longer to deliver the mail to specific houses, these ones held the promise of lingerie and occasional porn. These special houses, he’d found places to hide and watch, to wait and enjoy the time, alone. Yet that wasn’t the biggest benefit of the job, for Gerald always knew when someone was away. Business trip, a summer holiday, surprise family visit, the post man always knows.
As he neared the end of his round he came to a new house. They’d moved in 3 months before, an architect’s wet dream of glass and steel. Immaculate front garden and mature trees, the landscaping cost more than he made in a year. There was a new Porsche Carrera parked conspicuously near the road, no room for any other cars despite the four-car garage. Like all the other gated ones, he pressed the tradesman button and in he went. No barking of dogs, despite the sign. No smells of coffee or breakfast.
He walked up to the door and began looking through the mail, one thick envelope caught his eye, so he tore away a corner. They say that you should never send cash in the post, but most people never think about who is going to steal it. He dropped the other letters through the letterbox and then stuffed the money back into the bag. If he’d paid closer attention, he would’ve noticed the sunlight hitting the lens in the corner above him.