Arrivals and Departures
White fluffy clouds floated by, the rich blue sky dipped between the Alpine valleys. White caps of snow on the highest peaks and north facing slopes. The plane wheeled over Lake Geneva on its final approach to the airport. Twenty minutes later Philippe reclaimed his large red rucksack from the carousel, and headed out to train station for the short ride into the city centre. Rather than take a taxi, he walked through the newer part of town with tobacconist’s shops, chocolate shops, souvenir shops and cafes to the bridge across the lake to the old town that he loved so much.
Martha was busy in the kitchen of her apartment. The neatly stacked cupboards, labels all facing outwards, nothing awkwardly balanced. She pulled out the jar of coffee beans to feed the percolator sat tidily on the worktop. Richard would be home soon, everything must be ready for his arrival. The smell of the lamb moussaka gently simmering in the oven filled the kitchen. It was Thursday and Richard always liked lamb on Thursdays, Fish on Friday.
Stephanie sat in her comfortable armchair by the window, looking out of the window. The pristine white lace curtains preserved her identity from her neighbours. Whinstanley Crescent was a busy road, as its name implied it ran round in a half moon shape from the even busier London Road. Mornings were especially busy, people getting up early and rushing to work; to the station to catch a train to the metropolis or going on holiday. Later in the morning, delivery men, sometimes delivery women in an assortment of different coloured and sized vans. The growth of the internet had seen an upsurge in deliveries; people ordered everything online these days. An endless source of amusement and intrigue for the interested observer.
‘I wonder what that could be. A microwave? A DVD player? A coffee machine?’ An endless fascination for Stephanie.
The empty cardboard box sat open on Anthony’s desk. He deleted the remainder of this afternoon’s emails, closed Outlook and switched his off laptop. It remained locked to the desk. The friendliness of the staff when he’d joined five years ago; the evenings spent in the pub; interminable team meetings; the raucous team building events and the office affairs. Good times, bad times, it had all been his life. Too much now he realised. Carol, Lucy and Virginia; all good time girls, no responsibilities, no attachments … no morals. They had one thing in common, they were all bitches. Take a man for what they wanted and dump him when it’s no longer fun. Francesca was different though, such a sweet innocent girl, a breath of fresh air in the office and Anthony’s bed. He picked the up last off his pens, the stapler belonged to the office, better leave that. Closed the lid, a length of sticky tape, picked up the box and turned to walk away. No one spoke, no one looked, no one cared.