The virgin (part four)
her pink mini cooper hurtles down the free-way towards the airport recklessly, the tears in her eyes making it hard to see where she is going. “flight times” she croaks into her blackberry ‘searching for night time’ it responds and she screams at it through gritted teeth, nearly hurling it out of the window when it asks her to repeat the search term.
he sits in the departure lounge, leafing through some magazine without reading a word, glancing at pictures that feel as hollow and empty as the world they portray. at least in sudan he will be able to drown out the feelings with adrenaline and fear. that is the problem with this civilian life he realises, it has nothing to shield him from his feelings. he wonders how people cope, they have their loved ones though he guesses, they don’t have an ugly scar on their face, driving love away like a water cannon in a crowd. he wonders though, if maybe he should have talked to her face to face rather than written a note. was that cowardly he asks himself and thinks it probably was. the doubt plagues him.
when she had read the note and realised he had gone, her body had frozen and her heart numbed “please? please? please? please?” she had found herself praying to a god she didn’t even believe in, as she’d jumped into the car, gulping back her fear. “no! no! no! no! no!”
“there’s another flight this time tomorrow.” the pretty but bored girl at the desk tells him. “would you like me to book you on that one? there is a surcharge.”
at the airport, she pushes through to the front of the queue. “excuse me young lady!” protests a suit. normally polite, even genteel, she turns to him and screams
“fuck off!” into his face.
“now, there’s no need for-” he begins but she shoots him a look that makes him realise that he better just shut up and she turns back to the desk.
“when does the flight to khartoum leave please?” she pants. the vacant looking clerk checks a screen, hits a key or two. the words
“that flight departed five minutes ago madam” hit her like a piano dropped from a high rooftop.
as he waits for a taxi he peers back into the departure lounge. there is a women there who looks just like her, sat on the floor sobbing. it can’t be her though he thinks, she would never behave like that.