Colin walks away and I can’t help but admire his behind. Well, he is very well-made. I wonder what his job is. I don’t think he sits behind a desk all the time. My consultant’s job has let me gain a few more pounds than I like, but then I haven’t been worried. I travel the world and apart from a few quick relationships I just haven’t had the time. Maybe at thirty five I ought to be hearing my biological clock but so far it has been very quiet.
Colin is talking to the others, there are about twenty in all. When we stopped in Barcelona I could have sworn that a plane full of people disembarked. I had been so tired when we boarded the next plane that I didn’t notice how many there were. I had assumed that the level of noise meant a full plane, but sitting next to the family from hell meant that all I heard was them. I just couldn’t remember how many had got on. Was it really only twenty?
Everyone is getting loud and frustrated. I can hear the kids crying and the sound of anger in voices. Colin has his hands spread and is obviously trying to restore some order. It doesn’t appear to be working.
At the same time I see some movement right on the edge of my vision. Turning I see a door open and a man step out. He is wearing the colours of the travel agency. I look back but everyone is looking elsewhere. Getting up I walk over to him. He is closing the door quietly and I notice that from this angle he couldn’t be seen from the front of the desk. I’d only seen him because of my seat.
“Hello,” I say and I’m not surprised when he starts and spins away. I keep my voice quiet. If anyone else comes over this guy is going to clam up, but I might be able to get some information out of him. I might…
“What do you want?” he says in a stage whisper.
“What is going on?”
“If you wait then someone will…”
I interrupt him. “Don’t give me that. You are leaving. What would happen if I yelled? If I called them over?”
The man’s eyes flit over to the desk. We can hear them but they are still out of sight.
“Okay,” he whispers. “What do you want to know?”
“What has happened?”
“It began yesterday. People started arriving with colds. We had two collapse and then things got crazy. Your plane is the last.”
“The army closed us down. I told them you were still to come in and they said that they would send someone to deal with you.”
“Deal?” I really didn’t like the sound of that.
“The others were quarantined.”
“But none of us are sick.”
The man looks toward the exit. “I don’t think it matters any more.”
He has started to move away and I let him. I don’t know what to do, but I think I’m going to have to get out of here. A pang of guilt hits me. I can’t leave them, not even the noisy family.
Sighing I start to move back to my seat.