Pamela was eavesdropping on two of her fellow work colleagues who were obviously having a very heated argument. She couldn’t quite make out exactly what they were rowing about, but it culminated in one of them throwing some papers at the other shouting, "He didn't do it... you did.”
Pamela was smiling when she felt her phone vibrating. She pulled it out, the screen flashed – ‘home’.
“Mum? What’s up? Is everything OK?”
Pamela could hear sobbing. “Mum what is it? Say something, are you in trouble?”
The strangulated voice of Pamela’s mother broke out, “Oh Pamela, please come home. Something terrible has happened?”
Pamela’s insides tightened, she clasped her phone in a vice like grip, speaking urgently, she stammered, “Mmmum are you ill? Are you in any dududanger?”
Pamela could hear shallow breaths, “No, I’m OK, but please get back here quickly.” Adding, “I’ve got to go.” The line went dead.
Pamela ran into the building and knocked repeatedly on her manager’s office door. The door flew open, “Aye, now what’s up, where’s the fire?” Pamela’s ghostlike pale face greeted the speaker. Pamela spoke rapidly, “It’s my mum, something terrible has happened, I’m not sure what but she needs me, can I go now, please?”
“Yes, of course …… take care, let me know what’s going on.”
Pamela gathered up her things and ran to the taxi rank outside the railway station. As her home came into view, she could see the blue flashing lights of an ambulance disappearing down the street. She called the taxi driver to a halt and quickly pushed some notes into his hand. “Keep it,” she said, and ran across the road.
The bent figure of her mother was perched on the garden wall. “Mum? What’s happened, who was in the ambulance?”
Her mother looked up, “Mavis”, she replied.
(c) Graham Crisp