The airport is busy and there’s quite a crowd heading down the corridor to Bill’s departure gate. As he shuffles along, buffeted by other travellers, a young, smartly-dressed woman with a wheelie-suitcase cuts across in front of him, causing him to trip and fall. ‘Ouch,’ he says, landing on the suitcase and painfully twisting his left ankle. The woman stares down at him, annoyed. ‘I can’t believe you did that,’ she says. ‘Don’t you pay attention to the people around you?’ Bill is too dazed to respond. ‘This is so embarrassing,’ she says to the group of passengers starting to form a circle around them. ‘You can’t even walk through an airport without some idiot colliding with you.’ No one makes a move to help Bill up. His ankle is throbbing and he doesn’t think he’ll be able to stand, let alone walk. ‘Some people have no consideration for others,’ the woman says. Several of the bystanders nod and murmur sympathetically. Just then Bill notices his phone starting to vibrate in his coat pocket. It’s his daughter calling. ‘Oh my God,’ the woman says addressing the swelling crowd of onlookers. One or two of them laugh. ‘Can you believe this? He’s lying on my luggage, I have a plane to catch, and he’s about to take a call?’




Simon Collings
Illustration Nick Victor

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  1. Pingback: Two poems in International Times | Simon Collings

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