May 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
By the time the kettle had boiled over for his evening tea, a man had died.
Alan was unaware, too busy pouring boiling hot water into a porcelain mug, imagining the water boiling over onto those he thoroughly despised, the ones that had made his bad day into an unbearable one.
It had started in the morning when he missed his bus to work and had to traipse an hour into town in the cold, wet, rain; mud and water clinging to almost every part of material he wore on his skin and the cold seeping into the core of his bones. Unsurprisingly, his asshole of a boss had been completely unsympathetic to his snivelling self when he trudged into the office an hour late for work.
It spilled over into the evening, when his girlfriend decided that his self-indulgent attitude about simply everything was just not cutting it and had ended things outside the office, rain pouring down on them as he coughed up a fit. She had seemed too busy in her own self-indulgence to really care that he felt like his insides were slipping out of him with every cough that racked his body.
So here he was now, pouring himself tea to ease the virus that was slowly making its way through his body, all the while attempting to calm down his overexcited brain that was already planning out tragic endings for every human being he had come into contact with today. He didn’t even try to exclude the banal ones he barely knew, like the office assistant with black hair who had spoken all of two words to him since starting her job there.
As ready as he was for today to be over, he wasn’t quite ready for tomorrow to come yet. So he had poured himself a mug of tea and, sitting in front of the TV (but never really paying attention to what was actually playing on the screen) waited for his pizza to arrive.
Little did he know that by the time he had worked through his thought process, by the time he had taken his first sip of tea, by the time he had sat himself down in front of his television screen and glanced up to note that a whole twenty minutes had passed since he had picked up the phone and ordered his pizza, a man had died.
Twenty more minutes passed and his brain was actively trying to arrange the pizza delivery guy’s demise too, adding it to the heap of others his mind had conjured up. He set the kettle to boil again, though the last thing he felt like doing was having another mug of tea but he needed a way to pass the time, a way to calm himself down as his anger began to reach boiling point along with the kettle.
But by the time the kettle had boiled over the second time, his bell was going off frantically. He took a brief moment to eye the kettle with distaste as if it had been the cause of all his stress, before making a mental note of taking out his anger on the pizza delivery guy, who was more than an hour late now, in the hopes of getting it for free.
“It’s been an hour and-” There was an odd man blinking up at him from the threshold of his house. He was drenched in the rainwater, but wore no uniform and carried no pizza box.
“Sir, there’s been an accident.” The man muttered.
“What kind of an accident, exactly?” He frowned as his mind ran through all the possible things the idiots at the shop could have messed up.
“There was a train passing… but he didn’t see… and he’s… he’s died.”
He could now hear the faint sound of ambulance sirens in the air. The railway station was only ten minutes up the road and the sirens were becoming louder and louder.
“For fuck’s sake…” He muttered under his breath. “He was… he was the pizza delivery boy?” The man nodded his head and Alan reached up his hand momentarily to rub his temples.
What an end to his all too fantastic day.
“You’re dripping wet, you’re… uh, do you want to…” But he drifted off without finishing off the sentence because the man was simply staring at him with wide eyes, not seeming to register the words he was speaking. “Um…”
“You just don’t expect it, you know? He was just in there… in the shop with me and then he’s dead. He’s dead.” His eyes glazed over and he turned around to face away from the door. The rain was still pelting down hard but the man did not even seem to notice.
“I’m sorry…” He muttered with a frown. “It’s awful, really awful.” He hovered at the doorstep, almost tempted to shut the door against this unexpected occurrence. All he had wanted was some goddamn pizza, not a dead pizza delivery guy or a hysteric man at his doorstep.
“He was just great… great. A great man, great worker. Barely knew him, barely knew him. But heard he was great, you know?”
“He was just there though. He was just there with me, talking, laughing… and now…”
“He’s dead.” He finished off when the man didn’t.
“Dead.” He echoed, as if the word had not been on the tip of his tongue just moments ago.
“They’ll take care of it, you know. The… the hospital, the policemen. You needn’t worry unnecessarily.” At his words, the man turned to gaze at him wide-eyed for a minute longer before slowly nodding his head and backing away from the door.
“Right, right, yes. They’ll… they’ll take care of it. Sorry… sorry about the pizza.”
“That’s alright,” He said, although his stomach grumbled loudly as soon as the words escaped his lips. He had really been looking forward to that pizza. “Don’t worry about it.”