Sotheby and Self

Mr. Sotheby keeps his own company. But when a strange figure that looks and acts like him starts prancing into his life, several questions are raised: is this 'oneself' all he is cracked up to be? Who is the woman from another age that keeps haunting him and his other self? Is Derek Sotheby the man he thought he was, or is he the fading shadow of the man that he used to be? - Finished!


11. Derek Sotheby

My land lady called in the handyman the next day. I couldn't think clearly and the hammer was still doing its best to incinerate my skull, but I was vaguely aware of them breaking into my flat, followed shortly by the double glazing woman.

Pug couldn't be bothered to send the intruders on their way. I couldn't be bothered to persuade him to send the intruders away. Therefore they weren't sent away and the man was left on his own with the double glazing woman keeping him company, fixing my blasted boiler.

Oh yes, I just made the same joke again,

"Oh dear," echoed Pug, "you really aren't well."

"Poor Mr. Sotheby's got Pneumonia," I heard the woman call from the kitchen. The handyman was obviously up a ladder in the hall,

"I'm, sure he'll be keeping himself good company." replied the handyman,

"Derek?" asked the woman, over the top of noise of the boiling kettle.

I widened my eyes. Wasn't my name Derek? 

Well, I concluded, my name couldn't possibly be Derek because the handyman consequently replied with a shout and a clatter,

"Sorry, Beth!"

So she was called Beth and he was called Derek. I was also called Derek.

"Derek Sotheby." I heard the handyman say.

I must have missed some of the conversation, because they were obviously exchanging addresses and numbers. Derek the handyman had just given Beth, the double glazing woman, his full name.

Derek Sotheby,

"So you're another Sotheby?" asked Beth, surprise in her voice,

"No, no," chuckled Derek Sotheby, "just a coincidence!"

"What?!" cried Pug from my feet, "How can he be Derek Sotheby? I was under the impression that you are Derek Sotheby."

"Of course I am, Pug!" I scolded, weakly, "He's just pretending to be me!"

"Derek?" I heard the woman call again, "I think I've upset the dog - it seems to be making an awful racket."

"Don't worry," replied Derek, "I'm done for the day: let me take you for dinner."

"Thank you, Derek Sotheby!" giggled Beth, emphasizing his name, as they bustled out of my flat.

My name.

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