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The Waiting Game
By D.B.Adams

Kevin shifted nervously in his seat. Looking across the November darkness of the empty car park, he strained his eyes trying to make out a light, any light, along the railway track. The train was five minutes late already. Kevin didn't like to wait, it made him agitated and tonight of all nights, his fingers tapped a nervous rhythm on the steering wheel. She'd just better be on this train, or he would just go home and leave her to it. A car turned into the side street that ran along the back of the station, Kevin watched it's light in the mirror. It went past the entrance of the little car park and carried on down the road. Kevin breathed a sigh, that was the nice thing about this car park, it may be small and badly lit, but at this time of the evening it was quite empty. Because it was small it filled up with commuters early in the morning and the brunt of the traffic filled the massive car park at the front of the station. Even at this time of night there would probably be 20 or 30 cars in there. The taxi rank would be full too, at least a dozen or more minicabs waiting. Yet this side of the track it was quiet, well almost. Three teenagers, two girls and a boy had just passed the car. Kevin watched them as they went up the steps towards the platform, yelling and shouting to each other. Suddenly he felt nervous sitting there alone in the dark. Reaching in to his coat pocket, he wrapped his fingers around the handle of his flick knife and felt comforted. At the top of the embankment the youths passed through the small gateway that led to the platform and the noise became muffled behind the red brick buildings that housed the ladies waiting room and toilet. Kevin turned his head to look for the train once again.

Claire pressed the memory button on her mobile, she listened to the ringing tone, then the answerphone clicked in "I afraid no one is....", her own voice died away as she switched the mobile off.
Good, she thought, that means he's left for the station already.
Claire hated waiting to be picked up from the station on these winter nights. The car park was so empty and dark, she just didn't feel safe. She would stand at the station gate, looking down until their car pulled up. It was only one night a week she had to work late, but sometimes he could be a right bastard about picking her up on time. Even when she had phoned him to say she was 15 minutes away from the station, more than enough time for him to get there, he would turn up late. As the train slowed, Claire strained her eyes, searching for the car in the gloom.

He had almost decided to go home when the train appeared. At last, Kevin thought and buried his head in a magazine.

The doors slid open and Claire stepped onto the platform. A small group of teenagers pushed past her to get on the train. It wasn't until she stood at the gate that Claire spotted the car.
The stupid git, why does he always park right over there, she thought, why can't he just pull up at the bottom of the steps. She thanked her lucky stars it wasn't raining. As she crossed the car park, Claire made a mental note to nag him about the state of the car, it looked as if it hadn't been washed for months. Even in the dim sodium glow of the car park lamp you could see it was dirty, and it was leaking. Something, oil or water, was forming a puddle behind the rear tyre, below the boot.

Kevin had seen her as she reached the bottom of the steps. He kept his head down and pretended to be interested in the article in the magazine, Model Makers Monthly. It wasn't really his sort of thing, he'd just found it laying on the back seat of the car.

As Claire reached the car, she could see it was definitely leaking oil, thick and dark on to the tarmac. She thought he has probably been driving around like that all day and hasn't noticed. Claire opened the rear door and threw in her bag, then yanked the passenger door open and stuck her head in.
"Nigel there is an oil leak."
She stopped surprised by the strange eyes looking at her over the magazine.

Kevin reached forward with his hand, as if to touch her under the chin.

Claire thought about screaming briefly, just before the switchblade quietly clicked.

published in Writers Muse 15, January 2002

 

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