A death in the company give Grant an unexpected day off.
“Yeah.” He growled into the phone.
“Grant? It’s Mr. Danforth.”
“Oh. Hello.” What could the boss want at this hour? Grant checked his watch for the fifth time since leaving the house and wiped the sweat building on his brow. No, he wasn’t late. He still had plenty of time; that is, if this infernal traffic would move.
“Go home, Grant.”
“Pardon me, sir?”
“Go home. Greg James passed away last night. I’m closing the office for the day.”
Oh great. He knew the CFO had been sick, but he didn’t realize it was that serious.
As the traffic crawled to a standstill yet again, he mumbled to himself, “Now he tells me.”
“I… ah… I’m sorry to hear that.” He didn’t like James much, but he sure didn’t wish him dead. No, he just wished he’d get fired. Or something.
“Thank you. I expect the funeral will be on Sunday. I’ll let you know. I assume you’ll be there.”
“Nothing sir. Shifting gears again. Traffic is horrendous this morning.”
“You should leave earlier. Anyway, I’ll be in touch with details.”
He clicked off and muttered at the car ahead of him. Sunday. Funeral. Last thing he wanted to do on the weekend. He was supposed to go fishing with the boys on Sunday. Anyway, it would only be a few hours and he could beg off without hanging around for the reception. He hated those things.
Now, today. What would he do with his time today. First he had to get out of this traffic.
Sirens blared in his ears and lights flashed in his rear-view.
“Great. An accident. Just what I need” He pulled over to the curb as much as he could along with the other vehicles. No one moved, so he put the car in park and turned on the radio. WWTF was blaring some hip hop song.
“To all you commuters out there this morning. There’s been a twenty-car pileup on Route 12. Ambulance and firetrucks are on the way. Looks like a long wait. If you’re near Blake Boulevard, you can get off there and detour to your destination. Sorry for the bad news, folks.”
Blake Boulevard. That was three kilometers away. His hands curled into fists and he pounded the steering wheel. He blew out a puff of air and rolled down the window letting in the unseasonal morning heat. He cranked up the air conditioning and found a new radio station playing some old country. His favorite.
“Ah. That’s better.” He melted into his seat, waiting for the cars to move again.
His car stalled.
Gas. He’d forgotten to fill up on his way home last night. Now what? The nearest gas station was at least a thirty-minute walk back.
He tried the engine again, it chugged and lurched as he managed to pull the car off onto the grassy curb. As he climbed out, he saw a diner down over the hill. Might as well get some breakfast.
Nope. No breakfast. The diner was closed. Wouldn’t open until ten o’clock. Grant snarled at the sky. Down the road to his left, he saw a bowling alley. No. That would surely be closed. To his right, he saw an arcade.
“Well, might as well blow off some steam.”
At three-thirty in the afternoon, after spending more than a hundred dollars at the arcade and thirty-five at the diner for a greasy burger and a couple beers, he staggered through the hazy sunshine to his car. Well, what was left of his car.
The doors were gone, the wheels were gone. Stripped.
In broad daylight!
"Might be late on Monday."