by Karen J Mossman
Table was set. Turkey cooking. Presents wrapped. I drank wine to celebrate.
Then I stopped. “Oh my God!” What had I done? Or rather not done.
I grab my coat, run back and grabbed my phone. Ordered Uber. Shoving my shoes in my feet, purse and phone in my shopping bag, I run outside. Coat trapped in door, I lock up as Uber rolls up.
“The Trafford Centre?”
Trafford Centre, Christmas Eve? He’s right. “The Mall, then.” He nodded. He drives off.
I thank him, climb out, and rush inside. It was full of odd-balls. The four-foot man who walks with his right arm outstretched is in today. The woman with the doll in a push chair is also here. Loopy folks.
People pour around me. “Where’re am I going?” I say out loud. A man looks me oddly. I turn and collide with a mobility scooter.
“Ow! Sorry!” The owner scowls as I limp into a gift shop, dabbing blood on my knee with tissue. What was he driving? A spiked chariot!!
“The Mall will be closing in 10 minutes. Please make your way towards the nearest till.” Says the tannoy. I groan.
I march to the counter. Sweep eyes left and right. “I’ll have one of those, one of those, that and this, please.”
“Do you want them gift wrapped?”
“Yes!” I gasp. She wraps, I wait. Anxiously I look at the door.
“Thank you so much.” Gave her a big smile and left.
Outside open the app. Uber. 5 minutes away. Your driver is Sharif.
I wait, and wait. Check phone. Glare at screen. Driving going in opposite direction. Rang him. Directed him back.
He’s ull of apologies, “I’m new,” he explains.
“Don’t you track me? I was tracking you?”
“I was driving,” he said. Roll eyes.
Arriving home, Christmas lights on. Hubby home is back work.
“Hello darling,”he says as I fall head long through door. Parcels scatter. “One too many?”
Presents under the Christmas tree. Smiling husband. Glass of red.
“Have we got everything now?” he asks.
“Yes,” I say. I forgot his presents. Won’t tell him – at least not yet.