I move across the floor, my heels tapping a quick beat. I try to look unflustered but I have a really bad feeling. Reaching the edge of the group, I turn to the nearest person.
“Have they closed the terminal?”
Just my luck, the person happens to be my neighbour from the plane, her child clinging to her trousers. She ignores me so I turn to the guy on my other side. It’s the man from the plane. I smile but he leans forward, straining to hear the quiet voice in front.
“There has been a situation…”
“What situation?” someone asks.
“The terminal has been evacuated.”
The guy with the soft voice has ignored the question. I look around. The silence and emptiness is getting to me, making my skin crawl. I keep feeling as though we are being watched.
“What about us?” another passenger asks.
I am starting to think that we are in more danger than I first thought. The terminal looks empty but if you look closely there are signs of it being abandoned. In the corner a tipped cup of soda has spilt its contents leaving a sticky sugary puddle. One lone fly circles above it, lazily moving to and fro. I watch it and am surprised at its sluggishness. It is warm in here. Maybe it has already filled its belly with the sugary syrup.
There is an electric blue hoodie draped over the back of a chair but no one is there to claim it. Nearby is even a pair of high heels, pushed under the seat as if some business woman has taken them off to ease her swollen feet. It is just like the pictures you see from abandoned buildings. I’ve seen the documentaries about Chernobyl. If the chairs weren’t bolted to the floor I have a feeling that they would be tipped over, exposing their underbellies. Something has gone seriously wrong. People have forgotten things, but not bags. I can’t see one. Instead it is the incidentals, although I do worry about the barefoot woman. Although if you have got to run, would you really put your stilettos back on?
The man with the quiet voice is talking again.
“Someone will come for you?”
“Who?” I ask.
He is being evasive, but I have decided that if I need to run there is no way I can in my shoes. They are only kitten heels, but I have an appalling sense of balance. I walk over to a set of seats, skirting the puddle of congealing sugar.
The man from the plane follows me.
I nod and then sit. With a sigh I take off my offending footwear. He watches.
“Have you hurt your foot?”
“No, but I need to feel that I can run.”
He looks at me oddly so I explain. He starts to scan our surroundings. “You shouldn’t be barefoot though.”
I smile. “I won’t be.” I remove from my bag a pair of slip on shoes, the kind designed to be worn if you find your high-heels too uncomfortable. I’ve only used them a couple of times and although they won’t do for a hike they are better than the kitten heels.
“I’m Colin,” he says, sticking out a hand so I can shake it.
I do, making it a strong shake. “Bethany, although everyone calls be Bitsy.”
“You don’t look like a Bitsy.”
A grin plays across my mouth. The noise around the desk becomes louder and I can see the quietly spoken man appears to have disappeared.
“I’ll go and see.”