The bus was late. Claire looked at her watch for the hundredth time. It was already 15 minutes since the call. She’d never make it.
Of all the times for the car to break down. It had stalled at a junction and she’d wasted precious minutes listening to the engine whirring. The AA had promised someone within the hour. She’d begged, explained her situation. They’d apologised, but there was no one in her area to get there any sooner. She slammed her had against the steering wheel in frustration. If only she hadn’t gone home for a change of clothes.
She looked across at the passenger seat for her handbag. Panic. It was gone. Then she remembered – she’d left in such a rush she’d just grabbed her keys from the hook by the front door, not taking the time to fetch the bag from upstairs.
How stupid she had been. Two minutes saved and how much time would it cost now?
She had wasted more time after abandoning the car, torn between running home for her purse and calling a taxi, or crossing the road to the bus stop. The timetable said the next bus was due in two minutes. She waited.
She checked her watch for the 101st time. Where was the wretched bus?
Her phone buzzed in her pocket. She checked caller ID. The hospital. Tentatively she lifted the phone to her ear.