83 – Appointments

The pale figure by the lamp-post kept glancing at its watch. It was getting way too late. He’d already had to cancel his 7:30 and 8:45, he was already in a lot trouble as it was. He really didn’t want to think of what upper management (or lower management, it always depended on the case at hand) would have to say when they noticed two expected arrivals failed to, well…  arrive.

He was beginning to wonder how could things get any worse when the low rumbling of thunder suddenly decided to answer that particular question. Heavy rain began to fall. This was just what he needed, and exactly the day he decided to wear his new suit. It was all included in his expense account, but this was a particularly expensive suit and it just didn’t feel right to let the rain ruin it.

Someone appeared on the far corner of the street. He looked up expectantly, and was immediately disappointed when it turned out — again — to be not his long overdue 7:15 appointment.

He entertained himself by picking up a couple of birds and an old stray cat, menial tasks well below his current seniority level, but he was getting bored and it gave him something to pass the time with.

A sudden buzzing and vibrating in his front pocket startled him out of his thoughts. Great, probably someone had already noticed he was out of schedule. He reluctantly fished the phone out of his coat and relaxed when he heard the voice of his dispatcher.

He sighed with relief, the dispatcher was not only a good friend, but had also been out on the field long enough to understand what guys like him had to go thru at times. A couple of keystrokes was all it took for him to discretely readjust his schedule before the day’s report reached anyone important.

He made a mental note to take the old boy out to that little Italian restaurant he found in Soho soon. He really owed him big this time, and knew he had a soft spot for rare Super Tuscan reds which would be more than satisfied by the owner’s marvelous wine cellar.

Well, no use waiting anymore. If he was quick he could still make his 9:00 and be back in time for his shift rotation, then he could go home. All he really wanted right now was to enjoy a long hot bath and a nice cup of equally hot tea.

There was a sudden pop as a door of nothingness opened in the middle of reality. He hurriedly stepped thru it, being careful not to bump his sickle on the frame. He wondered if he should complain with logistics again about the height of the doors as it closed behind him without a trace.

Just then, a young woman riding a red and black Honda turned the corner, and was very nearly missed by a huge lorry traveling the opposite way.

She stopped to regain her breath at the side of the lamp-post. Jeez, THAT had been really close. She had been lucky this time, it was not a good idea to ride so fast under the rain. She had to learn how to manage her time. She was always running and still getting late to all important appointments. Oh well, she was already so late for that job interview that it wasn’t even worth showing up anyway.

She revved up the bike and headed home. All she really wanted right now was to enjoy a nice hot bath and a really cold beer.

• • •

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