An appointment missed

He stood in the sweltering heat and looked up in puzzlement at the black statue.  That definitely looked like Queen Victoria. Across the street was the Town Hall, sitting above the Town Hall Station. Behind him was the Queen Victoria Building. He looked at the bottle of water in his hand, and downed the few drops left there. His mate, who had offered to wait with him, said, “ I better go, Mum will be watching the trains”. He nodded and clicked the unlock button on his mobile. He had been waiting fifteen minutes, and there were no messages. He pulled out his wallet there was only enough money for a lolly. Or two. Did he dare go down those stairs and get himself a sweet treat? Not really. With his luck, Ma would turn up as soon as he abandoned his post and that would be her cue for recriminations.

He started to get worried after a while. He was pretty definite he was supposed to meet Ma here. Straight after school. Or maybe she was waiting for him elsewhere? Was there another statue of the Queen somewhere else? Maybe it was not Queen Victoria, but some other queen? GRRR! That would mean all kinds of hell would break loose! He called her. “Where are you?”


“No. It’s Okay. I’d rather come home.”

“Never mind.”

“That’s okay. I’ll just get the next train.”

She had forgotten.

When he got home she was profusely apologetic. All he wanted was a shower and some food.

She noticed that he looked tired. Much as she searched his face, she could see no signs of anger or irritation. That almost made it worse. She knew that if she had been waiting in the heat for her adorablescent  for forty five minutes, and he was not there because he had forgotten, she would not have shown such forbearance. She noticed the lack of anger, theatrics, and the quiet acceptance of her apologies. When he had showered and eaten, he looked as if the whole incident had never occurred.

She thought again of what would have happened if he had been the one “at fault”. She thought of the theatrics, the dredging up of past incidents, the ultimatums for the future that she would have indulged in. As she walked past him bent over his homework, she mussed up his hair and winked at him when he looked at her with irritation. She smiled.

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