Time hangs heavy with the wait.
Should have charged my mobile before I left. Now I’m really out of touch.
I check my watch, wondering if it’s the right time. The face is blurred – have to burrow into the rucksack for those cheapo readers. It’s 2.55 p.m…yes, the hands are moving.
Have I got the time right though or even the right day? I’m sure we agreed 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Is today Tuesday, is it really just before three o’clock?
Searching faces in the alien crowd for the familiar – right to left and back and forth, scanning for a crumb of recognition.
“Excuse me Sir, do you know what the time is?”
“Oh good – thank you. That’s what I thought”
I daren’t ask what day it is – pick up a paper and check. Reading will help to pass the time anyway. Tuesday 26th July – the news is as bad as always. Impossible to concentrate – sweaty hands and shaky too – hard to hold the paper still.
Are they coming by car – I remember they had changed it for something newer. What was the colour, what make was it? What if something has happened – a breakdown, an accident.
What if they don’t recognise me? Have I changed all that much? It’s surely only been two years.
Actually it’s only been about 15 minutes – calm myself down. Do the the Chi Gung stance – feet slightly apart, shoulders down, arms gently relaxed at the side, head up, chin slightly leaning to the chest. Breathe!
Of course this is just the ancient anxieties of the peripatetic child, waiting for Dad at the school gate, getting lost in the crowd that time, told where to go, taken places, decision-less, square peg…
The world around starts to blur and feel distant. I’m losing recognition of where I am. A strange woman is staring at me, She’s not even vaguely familiar and yet is holding out a hand. Maybe I look as sick as I feel.
“Hello you must be Joe. I’m Paula, Your aunt asked me to pick you up as they had to go and do something. Hope you haven’t been waiting long”
With a surreptitious wipe of my my hands, I return her greeting, mustering as firm and manly a grip as I can: “Oh only a short while – I pass the time people watching”
© Laura Granby 2016
Whetting the writing juices with The Tale Weaver prompt: ‘Waiting’