It was five minutes to midnight when I went to bed, not soon enough when I had an early start in the morning. Next day I left in a hurry, realising I was late – too late – for work.
Suddenly I was travelling in the wrong direction, lost, in unfamiliar territory, and people – familiar strangers - were talking to me, telling me what I should do. I was walking, running, driving, cycling, looking for signposts, biting my lip, trying not to cry, working out my excuses.
I should have phoned to say I would be late, but how could I appear when everyone else was about to go home? Maybe I could manage to show up and do half an hour’s work – that would be better than nothing. Show willing – it
always sometimes helps. No point in staying late to catch up – all the students would go home at the usual time.
Perhaps my colleagues would not have noticed my absence – or perhaps they knew somehow that I was unable to get to work and had already hired a substitute. I should phone though, it was only common courtesy, but I could imagine them shaking their heads disbelievingly. ‘How could she do it again?’ they were saying. ‘Who does she think she is?’
I’d lose my job this time, definitely. And then I woke up.
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