Another of my short stories inspired by song titles. I’m a great fan of Elvis Presley and love listening to some of his lesser known songs. Add a little bit of winter blues, and it’ll turn into one of those days when you should have stayed in bed. 😀
Seven o’clock. Time to get up. A lot depended on how things went at the meeting, and I wanted to arrive early and have plenty of time to prepare. My best navy suit was freshly dry cleaned, on a hanger in my bedroom, next to a crisp, white blouse, suede shoes and matching handbag, so there would be no last minute panic.
Ambling into the kitchen I glanced at my watch as I put the kettle on before starting my breakfast. Nothing like a good meal to set you up for the day. Eight o’clock? No, it couldn’t be. I’d only been up five minutes. Dashing back upstairs I shook the offending alarm clock which still showed the same time. The batteries were dead. I’d overslept.
No time for the luxurious bath I’d promised myself, a quick shower would have to do. Where was my shower cap? I couldn’t risk my hair getting wet after all the trouble the salon had gone to yesterday. The large rip in the plastic hat showed exactly how much use it would be; in a word, none. My mobile rang as the smell of burning toast wafted up the stairs.
‘Hi Jen. Just wanted to wish you luck for today. Are you at work already?’
‘Hi Pam. No sorry. Got to rush. I’m running late. Speak to you later. Thanks, Bye.’
At least my clothes were ready, or so I thought until I noticed the tiny black mark on the hem of my blouse. Perhaps it wouldn’t show if I tucked it into my waistband, or I could keep my jacket on, even if the conference room was always like a sauna. Why do zips always snag when you’re in a rush? Now I’d broken it.
Throwing the suit onto the bed I scoured my wardrobe for something else to wear. The navy linen dress might work, although it was sleeveless and a bit too summery for the office. Perhaps I could wear the jacket with it? How many different shades of navy are there? Never mind, it would have to do, even if it clashed. Where did I put the other tights? Why do they always ladder at the most inappropriate moment? Throwing everything on the bed as I rummaged for a new pair, I closed my eyes to the mess and rushed downstairs. Eight thirty-five. As long as the traffic wasn’t too bad I should just make it.
‘Start, damn you. Start.’ After a few unhealthy chugs I realised that wasn’t going to happen. Any more and I would flood the engine. Should I sit for a few minutes before trying again? Phone the AA? They might take hours. The bus! If I ran I might catch the eight forty and only be ten minutes late. Locking the car, I sprinted to the corner just in time to see the bus pulling into the stop.
‘Wait. Wait for me.’ I must have looked like a mad woman as I waved wildly, trying to catch the driver’s attention. Not looking where I was going, my heel caught in a drain and down I went. My tights were ruined, my shoes were wrecked, I was covered in dirt, and had the beginning of a lovely bruise on my knee. How to make a good impression! Hobbling towards home I tried to decide whether to phone and say I was sick, or have a quick brush-up, arrange for a cab, and arrive extra late. The alternative was to sit down and cry.
As if to help me decide, the heavens opened and the threatening storm burst in all its glory. As if I didn’t have enough problems, all I needed was the rain. By the time I arrived home I looked like a drowned rat, but that was the least of my worries. The smoke hit me as I pushed open the kitchen door, and coughing and spluttering caught sight of the charred remains of a tea towel hanging from the toaster. Thankful it wasn’t worse, I cleaned up most of the mess before sitting down to a hot chocolate with extra sugar. It tasted too sweet, but my mother had always told me it was good for shock, and I was shivering. Whether it was from getting soaked or a delayed reaction I didn’t know, but after a few minutes my brain started working again. Time to get organised.
Nine twenty-five. They would have guessed by now I was either delayed or not coming, but it was only courtesy to let them know. At least I had the excuse of the fire, but what would have happened if I hadn’t come back?
No signal on my mobile. The battery was dead. Putting it on charge I opened my laptop to send an email. Not very polite but the best I could do for now. A message appeared in my in-box as I was composing what to say.
“As you might be aware, the CEO’s plane was delayed due to the violent storms and he is unable to make the meeting. He offers his sincere apologies. It has been rescheduled for the 25th so there is no need for you to attend the office today.”
I went back out to the car to find my membership number to phone the AA. The rain was coming down in sheets but the car started first time. After a long, hot soak in the bath I turned on the lunch-time news to discover trees had been brought down by the high winds and the road was impassable.
What a day. All it needed was the rain. 🌈
© Voinks October 2018