lunch

And now – LUNCH! says the next PowerPoint slide.
I’m too stunned for a moment to react. I rub my face, worried I may actually have fallen asleep and been talking. But if I did everyone’s too kind or busy to care. They’re hurriedly finding money, checking phones, pressing forwards for the exit in a rush that’s only two steers short of a stampede.
By the time I reach the little volunteers’ café in the foyer, it’s been trampled flat, stripped of everything but a ham and pickle baguette, sobbing quietly to itself at the back of the cabinet.  I take it out and put it on the counter.
‘…and a cup of tea, please.’
‘Lovely,’ says the elderly woman behind the counter. ‘Are you eating in?’
‘Actually I think I’ll go and sit outside.’
Outside?
‘Yep. I need a bit of sun.’
‘Do you want a plate with your food?’
‘No, thanks. I’ll be fine.’
‘I’ll tell you what,’ she says. ‘I’ll get you a paper plate anyway. And I’ll tell you why in a minute.’
She ducks down behind the counter and starts rootling around. Eventually she stands up again and hands me a paper plate.
‘There!’ she says – then leans forward.
The inspectors are due in this afternoon and there’s a rat in the garden.

2 thoughts on “lunch

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