The Wait

This wasn’t the first time Carrie had been late, but today Max was worried. He’d been waiting for nearly twenty minutes and every further second that passed felt like the ticking of a bomb. His shirt was drenched in sweat and he knew his hands would be trembling were they not stuffed deep into his pockets.

Why was he so worried? He had no reason to be. She’d seemed fine when she left the house yesterday-all smiles in fact. But she’d left her phone on the kitchen work top so he couldn’t call her now to check she was alright. Not that she’d have her phone with her now anyway, he thought.

Don’t panic, he told himself as he checked his watch for the hundredth time. She’ll be here. She’ll be safe. An unwanted image popped into his head of a mangled car wreck with a pale, slender arm extended through a broken window. He shook his head as if the physical motion of the gesture would dislodge the negative thought. It didn’t.

He wasn’t sure he’d ever felt such strength of passion towards her as he did in these interminable moments of not knowing she was safe. For five years now they’d been almost inseparable, and all of a sudden as he stood here waiting for her and thoughts of losing her sprang unbidden and unwelcome into his mind he felt he simply couldn’t live without her.

As his fretting reached a crescendo music began seeping through the window of his consciousness. A flurry of movement brought him back to himself and his immediate environment. The heavy wooden door creaked open behind him and his heart leapt into his mouth as realisation dawned. She was here, at last. And in a matter of only a few minutes more, she would be his wife.

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