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What A Day

by Lindsay G Duddy 2 months ago in Short Story · updated 17 days ago

Phew

Let it Out

I’m running Late

When I stepped out of bed that morning, I trod on some stupid hard rubbery thing that the dog chews and nearly went head over heels into the bedside drawers. I’m running late as it is and didn’t need to add to it as my alarm failed to go off. Then I went into the bathroom to take care of the 3’s’s. 1st ok 2nd my razor was gone 3rd no bloody hot water. This day is getting better and better. I had to shower with cold water; that really woke me up but was unable to shave. I was now in a bad mood or should I say in a worst mood.

I proceeded to get dressed, of course there was no ironed shirt. I could have sworn there was one there already. I had to quickly iron a shirt, and, in that process, I managed to burn myself. “I hate ironing!!”

I Went downstairs for breakfast dying for a coffee, no bloody coffee. So, I had to settle for a tea bag cup of tea that wasn’t great. I also put toast in the toaster which began to burn because someone had left it on a high setting. Not enough time to make more so I ate it; yuck!! Doing all this whilst dressing and falling over trying to put on my trousers. Ugh!!

Key’s, Key’s, Key’s. Where’s my blasted keys? I could have sworn I left them in the bowl that we keep next to the front door on the little cabinet. After hunting everywhere for them and still couldn’t find them, I thought maybe I’d left them in the car. I looked outside and saw that my car had been moved. “No, she didn’t!” I squawked, but she did. She had moved my car.

I checked the car and of course the keys were left in it and the doors were locked. I have no spare key. I rang the breakdown service using the home phone. It took them one and a half hours to get here. When he arrived, wham bam it was done in about thirty seconds. He wished me a nice day and gave me this “you dumb idiot” look just before he departed. Not a good idea, because the mood I was in I could have strangled him.

Now that I am so far behind, I thought I would ring the office and let them know how long I will be. I checked my pockets for my mobile phone, of course it wasn’t there. I checked my briefcase, not there. “Oh, come on” I screamed quietly, so as not to disturb the neighbors. I went inside and checked the table at the door, nope. Blood is boiling right now. Then an epiphany!! Ill ring it with the home phone. Luckily the home phone was right there, as I had just used it, so I didn’t have to look for it. I proceeded to dial and couldn’t for the life of me remember my mobile number. 1st try, 2nd try, 3rd try, no!! then on the 4th attempt I got the number. So, with the phone to my ear, I listened to hear the ring of my mobile. Another epiphany: take the phone out of your bloody ear you idiot then you will hear where it is ringing. “you are doing great today” I chastised myself. Ring-ring, ring-ring. I followed the sound of the ringtone upstairs. Having hit redial a couple of times I found it in the bathroom on the sink. I swear I do not remember leaving that there. I picked it up and proceeded to ring the office and thought “you could have used the home phone to do this” I’m doing so well today. Can this day get any worse?

Time to go now. I checked everything again made sure doors were locked etc, and that I had everything. Keys!!!!!! No!! No way!! But yes. In my haste to find my phone I had locked my keys in the car again. Ahrrrrrrrr!!! After I calmed down, I rang the breakdown service utterly embarrassed. This time it was only half an hour as they were in the neighborhood. Thank God for that.

So off I go. In the car, I back out of the driveway and crunch. “What was that”? I asked myself and I replied “don’t worry about it, just check when you get home” so I didn’t worry. That was easier said than done.

About 8 minutes or so into my journey I kept thinking about what it was I ran over, and it was playing on my mind, so I decide to turn back. I performed a U turn and headed back the way I came. I sped up a little as time is getting on but I wasn’t driving dangerously. Next thing I see blue and red lights flashing in my rear-view mirror. “This is all I need” I grunted. I thought it was for someone else to start with but of course he wasn’t passing me he was staying behind me and now flashing his lights for me to pull over. “Why Me??” I screamed.

I pull over. The policeman approached my car and knocked on the window. I roll down the window and asked the officer what I could do for him, trying to be nice. He asked, “Do you realise you were speeding and that you performed an illegal maneuver further back up the road?”

I replied, “I performed a U turn which I thought was perfectly legal and yes I suppose I was speeding a little and for that I apologies.”

“You were 8km over the speed limit and the place where you performed the U turn has a sign which says, “No U turn”. May I also see your driver’s license please sir?”.

“Yes, I have my license here.” I reach over to the passenger’s seat where I normally leave my briefcase and it’s not there. I look in the back its not there. I think “where the hell is it?” Then it dawns on me, the crunch!!! Oh No!!! It was my briefcase. What else could it have been? I used every ounce of will and sense of don’t be crazy to stop myself from running out the car, screaming, shouting, and hitting whatever got in my way. I took a long deep breath and explained to the officer I must have left my wallet at home.

He said “well sir it’s not your day, is it? You realise it’s against the law not to carry your license with you?”

I meekly replied saying “sorry I didn’t realise”.

I was not in the mood for explaining or pleading or anything, so I said. “Just issue me the tickets so I can be on my way.” I added a thankyou at the end. He took my details back to his car and returned after about 5-10mins or so with my three tickets. “Thank you I said” closed my window sat there for a few seconds breathing deeply before I took off. $682 worth of tickets. Greeeeaatt!!!

Once again, I drive off, slowly this time, on this somewhat perilous and expensive day. What else could go wrong? Please God No More!!!

I arrive at my house a few minutes later. Drive slowly to my driveway and there it is a squashed pile of black sitting in the middle of the driveway. I stop half on and half off the driveway. I put my head in my hands and have a little cry. I then said “God, whatever I have done to offend you I am sorry. Please no more!!”. Whilst I was sitting there someone beeped their horn and this brought me back into the present. I moved onto the driveway and got out of my car. I picked up the mess and went in doors. I put the crushed-up mess on the kitchen table. The case was crushed as was the laptop but everything else was okay including my wallet and “driver’s license”. A somewhat positive in amongst all those negatives.

It is now nearly lunch time. My meeting is at 1.30pm and I’m seriously thinking of just lying on my bed and not moving for the rest of the day and night, but this meeting is important, and I have to go. I decide to change my shirt as this one is wringing with sweat. Of course, I need to iron it. I burn myself yet again; Wonderful!! I grab my spare laptop, back up drive and once again leave the house. Lock the door; turn around walk to the driveway and no car.

I just stand there unable to move, probably in shock. My mouth was just agape, I was just frozen to the spot. I finally break the trance and look around and I see the car down the road stopped but on the wrong side. I ran down the road towards the car. When I get there, I check it out for broken windows as I thought maybe someone attempted to steal it and failed. The windows were intact. Phew! I wipe the sweat off my brow. Open the passenger door and put everything inside.

I then check the back of the car, the rear light on the right-hand side is broken. It must have happened when the car hit something which was most likely to be the neighbors bin. I couldn't do anything about it now I’ll have to fix it when I’m done for the day. I pick up the broken bits and put it in the bin; “that was fortunate” I say with a wry smile. I then jump in the car and see that I had left the car in neutral, with the hand break off. “You idiot”. How much more I can take of this I do not know. No more, No more, No more!!! Please. Once more I take a deep-deep breath. I start the car and away I go making sure I do everything right.

I’m now heading to the office having informed them of how late I am but should still make the 1.30pm schedule. I’m now beginning to relax.

Having travelled for about 10 minutes and not too far away from the office, suddenly I see a familiar sign. Bloody Hell!!! Blue lights flashing in my rear-view mirror. “No way, It couldn’t be” I said out loud. But it was. They weren’t moving and were now flashing for me to pull over. I pull over all the while telling myself to calm down. He knocks on the window. I put the window down.

“Afternoon officer” came out very softly.

“Good afternoon, sir. Do you realise you have one of your rear lights broken?” He asked inquisitively.

I explained the situation and advised I would be fixing it later when I was done at work. It made no difference; He went to his car with my driver’s license this time; thank God for that and came back with another infringement of $150. I took it, tried to smile; I must have looked weird because I couldn’t smile, I said nothing. He left after given me good wishes for the day. Then I rolled the window up and just sat there.

It’s now 12.45pm and I’m only 10 minutes away, I should be able to make it on time. I drive away nice and slowly and keep to the speed limit. I pull into the underground car park and park my car. Doubly making sure I have everything I get out of the car. Then I do a double check with the doors making sure there locked, then I make my way to the lift to go to the 7th floor where the meeting is being held. I press the button and ping; it arrives within a short time. I walk in and press number 7, off I go to my destination praying that nothing will happen, also, I wish for no stops at any floors on the way. But no!! I stop at the 3rd floor and in comes a nice-looking lady who is heavily pregnant. She looks at the buttons and sees 7 pressed and says, “you’re going to the same floor as me, that’s good”. I nod and smile. Doors shut; off we go again and I’m thinking I would hate to be stuck in a lift with a woman as pregnant as she is. Thank God only a couple of floors to go. As I’m thinking this, I hear a bang!!!

We both jumped with a start and look at each other. I then realised that we’d stopped. “Oh Shit, Nooo!!” I looked back at the lady, and she had that panic look on her face. I’m trying to stay calm myself. “It’s going to be okay.” I said, “probably just a little power outage, we should be on our way soon”.

As I said this, she looked at the lights as if saying what power problem as they were still working. I picked up the lift phone and it went straight through to maintenance. The voice on the other end answered with “good morning (its afternoon) maintenance, how can I help you?”

I replied “Can’t you see we are stuck between the 3rd and 4th floor, you idiot”

He said that he didn’t realise it was us ringing, apologised and that the matter was being dealt with, it shouldn’t be too long. I relayed this info to the lady. She seemed slightly more relaxed after that.

I look at my watch and a dark sinking feeling just hit me. After all this I'm going to miss my meeting.

I pick up the phone again and ask for an eta and he said about an hour. Great!!!

I passed on that time to the lady and whined that I was about to miss a very important meeting. Then I noticed her face was a bit red, “Are you okay, would you like to sit down?” I enquired.

She said she was ok but a bit tired and yes, she would like to sit for a while. So, I helped her as dignified as we could to sit on the floor of the elevator. As I’m doing this, I’m hoping like mad that she is still quite a bit away from dropping. I ask her how long she has whilst giving her a bottle of water that she had in her bag. She said she is nearly full term, but it should be okay. I start to worry a little, what If? I think to myself. Don’t think about it.

I pull my phone out of my pocket and tell the lady that I’m ringing my office to let them know where I am and asked if I can inform someone for her. After speaking to my boss and explaining the situation he asks me if the lady is pregnant and of course she is, he then informs me that she is the wife and business partner of the guy I was supposed to present to.

No way!! Yes way!! I could hear him smiling. I then hung up.

I’m debating in my head whether or not to let her know who I am, but I could see she was sweating a lot.

I asked if there was anything wrong, she said her stomach hurt and she was feeling quite hot. I took off my jacket folded it up and placed it in the small of her back to try to make her more comfortable. Just as I did this, she let out a small yelp. I asked if I hurt her. She looks at me with a worried scared look this time. “I think my contractions have started”, as she said that her water broke.

“Oh, shit oh shit oh shit oh shit” I’m saying quietly to myself. I’m looking around not knowing what to do and then a scream came from the lady. Wow!!! It was loud. I nearly jumped 10 feet in the air, in fact I recon I actually did leave the ground. “What do you want me to do?" I said in a quivering voice whilst trying to look calm.

“Just help me to lie down” she said through gritted teeth.

She told me that there were some towels and a small blanket in her bag. I did think that was a lot of stuff in such a small bag, for a split second. Anyway, I take the stuff out. Using the towels, I make her more comfortable. As I’m doing this, she lets out this almighty roar and grabs one of my arms and says, “you men have no fucking idea”.

" I'm so sorry" I said, finding myself apologising for all us men for some reason and I’m also holding in a scream as that grip was vicelike.

I have seen a few medical shows and read a little to muddle through a few things and try to help her with her breathing etc. We begin to work together to try and get through this as easy as possible.

When she was a bit more relaxed, I explained to her that I was the one who was going to present to her and her husband, with a little chuckle in my voice and she smiled back and said “well I guess were both going to be late then” we both started laughing then another contraction came. I felt so helpless.

I ring the emergency services, explained the situation and how far apart the contractions are. She asked me to give the phone to the lady, whose name is Amanda, which I had just recently found out. She spoke to her for a couple of minutes then another contraction, but this time it was for longer and shorter time between the contractions. The lady on the other end whose now on speaker explained that paramedics were on their way, and that I might have to deliver the baby myself. She said she will guide me through and if I follow instructions, it should all be okay. Another contraction, then Amanda said "I think it’s coming". The paramedic on the other end told me to keep her on speaker and just follow her instructions. In the most undignified way that I have ever seen a client I proceed to help to deliver the clients baby and at the end I help her cut the cord with a pair of scissors which just happened to be in her bag.

I wrap the child, who is a boy, in the blanket that I had kept aside and placed him in mommy’s arms. She asked me my name I said Johnathon. I’m going to have his middle name as Johnathon to remind him who helped bring him into this world.

I had a little tear fall down my cheek and I said, “Thank you Amanda, that is a very nice thing to do, probably one of the nicest things I’ve had done for me in my life”

“No! thank you Johnathan for if it wasn’t for you being here, I don’t know what I would’ve done.”

I thank her again this time tears running down my face. I didn’t care how I looked it was just such an emotional moment for both Amanda and I. She already had the tears flowing.

Just as we were talking there was another Bang! And all of a sudden, we were on our way. Yeah!! I thought and then I looked all around, panicked, and said we need to clean up. Amanda laughed. I think they’ll be people waiting who can do that, just relax. She was all calm and collected now, I was still a nervous wreck.

Then the ping and the door opens, standing there are the paramedics, my boss, and her husband.

They were all smiling. I didn’t know what to expect. Every one of them patted me on the back and thanked me for a job well done. I tried to say something, but nothing came out. As I walked out of the lift I could hear voices, and had no idea where they were coming from?

I lifted my head up and walked around to the left. All of my work colleagues and others were standing there cheering and applauding. I just fell to my knees and burst into fits of uncontrolled laughter.

For what felt like 10 minutes I kept this hysterical thing going and then it stopped. I was totally exhausted. People didn’t know what to do. I told them not to worry as I was OK and that I would explain it later and they’d understand.

Later that day at the pub I explained the whole day to them. Some said they’d probably burst out crying instead. Others said they'd probably have stayed home. They couldn’t understand the laughter though.

I replied that I think I was supposed to cry by the way I was feeling but for some reason the laughter took over. Everyone laughed. In fact, that night was absolutely brilliant because I also managed to land the giant contract which the meeting was all about, and that Amanda and husband called their son Alexander Johnathon Beady. A big celebration was had by all including the husband, Alex.

I left that bloody car in the car park and would you believe it got vandalised and the insurance company wrote it off. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

If you believe hard enough there can always be a happy ever after.

The End

Short Story

Lindsay G Duddy

Live in Perth Western Australia. Originally from Scotland UK.

Started writing 2015 whilst I was doing night shift and the urge took me and so a lot of my early writing was done whilst I was doing Night shift.

Short stories, novels. Poetry

Read next: Forgotten Lady

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