A Short Story by Guest Writer, Diane Cormier
Writing Prompt: “Despite my three-inch heels I ran as fast as I could.”
Why is it that just when you think everything is going your way something goes wrong?
I got up at 5 AM, went to the gym, caught the 7:30 AM GO train later, and then headed for the subway. Crowds thronged the platform. “What’s wrong now?” I sighed impatiently.
“Attention, all subway customers on Line One. The northbound train on Yonge is turning back at Wellesley due to a fire alarm at Bloor Station. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
Just great, I’d have to take the train to Wellesley and then walk the rest of the way to the office. This was one meeting I couldn’t be late for. Beyond the crowd I heard a sound. “Good, a train is arriving. I hope I can get on it. I have never seen so many people.”
Barely breathing I squeezed my way inside where I could hold on to a pole instead of falling on top of people every time the train jerked. When we reached Wellesley Station, everybody pushed to get off the train. I clamoured my way out to the platform, glanced up at the clock and saw that it was 8:45 AM. Fifteen minutes left to reach the office. I made my way outside. Ten minutes left to get in on time for the meeting that I had convened.
With my route mapped out in my head, and despite my three-inch heels I ran as fast as I could. I saw the office in front of me, but I resisted the urge to stop and look at my watch. Breathlessly I rushed into the elevator. When the door opened on my floor, I noticed the closed boardroom door and the unnatural silence as I stepped on the carpet. The receptionist looked up and motioned me to let me know that the meeting had started without me.
I handed her my coat, adjusted my jacket, and squared my shoulders as I took a deep breath and entered the boardroom. The room suddenly went quiet. I looked at the faces around the table—some uncomfortable and a few with silly smirks. I said, “It’s unfortunate that I was late for this meeting, but it was unavoidable and could have happened to anyone.”
I glanced at the agenda. Listed on top was, “Tardiness & Attendance.” Pin-drop silence…and then someone giggled. I looked up at the offender and noticed everyone joining in. I tried to suppress my smile. No one missed the irony.
“The point I’m making is that we can’t use this as an excuse to abuse the system. Let’s move on to the next item,” I said with as much dignity as I could muster.