Running Late

Karlee looked at her watch, then at the sandwich on her counter. She considered – very briefly – finishing, but there was no time. She abandoned the slices of bread, one buttered, the other with a salad leaf and two pieces of cucumber. I’ll finish it for tomorrow, she thought.

Running to the door, Karlee grabbed her bag and threw it over her shoulder. She grabbed the keys from the ring, realized they were the wrong ones, and scrambled until she found the right ones.

She ran out into the cool morning air, closed the door, and locked it. Then she started walking like a normal person hurrying. She tread the line between walking and jogging, the clock ticking in her mind and on her wrist. She was going to be late, certainly, but how much was now up to her speed and the gods of public transit.

She reached the corner just as the bus drove past, and cursed. She still had another block to go to get to the bus stop, but she knew it could be anywhere from twenty seconds to twenty minutes for the next one to come. She started for the corner, then decided to abandon all dignity and run.

She reached the corner, and the bus driver – a kind soul – waited for her. She hopped on, and breathed a, “Thank you so much.” The man nodded and smiled, and she paid, took her transfer, and walked back to a seat.

The bus made it to the end of the street before encountering traffic. She looked at her watch again, and shrugged. Nothing for it now, and at least she could blame the lateness on the bussing system. It was always understood.

When she made it to the coffee shop, Karlee looked around, hoping Felicia hadn’t left yet. It was only fifteen minutes after they had planned on meeting, most people waited at least that. Still, Karlee didn’t see her friend anywhere. She sighed and turned, looking at the café’s offerings. Might as well, since I’m here, she thought.

The door burst open, and there stood Felicia.

“Felicia!” Karlee said with a smile.

“Oh thank god you’re still here! I’m so sorry I’m late,” Felicia said, panting. “The buses were crazy, and I was late, and everything was just…” she dropped her arms to her sides.

“It’s fine,” Karlee said, “I only just got here myself. I was worried you had come and gone.”

“I’m so glad I’m not the only one,” Felicia said, throwing her arms around her friend. “Anyway, how are you?”

“I’m good, if a bit flustered. Shall we order and sit?”


The two joined the line-up, conversation already rushing like a train.


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