Late

59. 1pm. Top deck, on the left near the front.

I was running late for a lunch. I wriggled in my seat, anxiously glancing at my watch. Then I noticed that at least two other people on the bus were also running late. They were speaking on their phones. Here is what I heard:

Young woman (I’d guess nineteen years old) with luscious hair extensions, lamé nails, peaked cap and hot pink jacket: ‘My dad says he’ll pay for the driving test. It’s good, innit… Oh man, I know, I’m such a criminal! But I’ve changed my behaviour, I’ve really changed it now. I’m doing work experience and I’m really changing… Yeah, I’m on my way now actually. Actually I’m running late though for my first day… (laughing) hey, don’t laugh!’

Thirty-something woman with long dark hair, dressed in naturally dyed hemp clothing: ‘Hello? This is Cherry’s social worker. I – hello? Hello? Is this Cherry’s dad? I’m… Hello? Sorry, we were cut off. This is Cherry’s social worker, I’m calling to let you know I’m running a little late… Is Cherry there? Hello? Can you understand what… No, sorry, I’m trying to explain, it’s her social… Are you sure? Aren’t I taking her to the centre today? Um… oh never mind.’

Two rather different approaches… but both women got off at the same stop, so they had at least that in common!

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