“COME ON!” Came Dom’s muffled plea through his sweatshirt. Dom’s bus left in less than ten minutes. He was already late for work, but somehow that made everything he did take ten times longer than it should have. He couldn’t just put on his sweatshirt, instead he had to wrestle with his sweatshirt as the arm and head holes inexplicably changed their positions in the fabric, taunting him with their elusiveness. He couldn’t just tie his shoe laces, instead he had to wrangle his shoe laces as they effortlessly tangled themselves into something that closely resembled a plate of black cotton spaghetti. Eventually Dom managed to dress himself and race to the door, stopping just short of leaving without his keys. He grabbed them off the kitchen-come-living-room counter and left, slamming the door behind him.
Out in the corridor. Dom hammered on the lift’s call button repeatedly and redundantly as it slowly trundled up from the ground floor. He kept spamming the button just in case the hundredth press made the lift realise that the caller was horrendously late for work, at which point it would surely leap into action and retrieve them, double time. But no. The lift trundled slowly up to the seventeenth floor, picked up Dom and then trundled slowly back down, stopping several times on the way to pick up other passengers. Dom hated them all.
The lift doors creaked open and Dom barged past his fellow residents, sprinted out through the building’s automatic glass double doors and kept running out through the pouring rain, which had presumably been falling throughout most of the night. He reached the main road and was about a hundred yards away from his bus, the number one. The number one went all the way through town and was Dom’s usual method of commute, as it stopped on Sovereign Street, just outside work. It only ran every half hour, but he knew he could make it to the doors. He could still get into work for eleven. He wasn’t sure exactly how getting into work three hours late was a positive thing, but right now it was all he had. Seventy five yards and the doors were still open, with the last customer in the queue about to board. Fifty yards. She was in. There was no more queue. Twenty five yards. “Come on!” He thought, gritting his teeth.
The doors closed. Of course they closed. Of course. Dom reached the bus just seconds too late and hammered on the door, silently mouthing to the driver, begging him to reconsider his decision to close the bloody doors. The driver ignored him. He didn’t even look round. He didn’t even do Dom the courtesy of looking him in the eye. Maybe he could have given a sympathetic shrug or tapped his watch, as if to say “Sorry, we’re running late too.” Or maybe he could have opened the bloody doors like a decent human being. But no. The bus driver ignored Dom. Totally ignored him. The bus driver, Dom concluded, was an arse hole.
As the number one indicated, pulled out and drove into the distance, Dom lowered his head into his open palms. This was all because of that fire alarm. Everything that had made him miserable in the last 8 hours or so was the result of some drunken reprobates and their funny, funny, hilarious, funny prank. Dom lifted his head as the rain continued to pour and scowled again. “Well,” he thought, completely unironically, “At least today can’t get any worse.”
A black Mercedes Benz drove past Dom, right through a surprisingly deep puddle that had formed along the side of the road due to a blocked drain. The resulting splash covered Dom from head to toe in filthy, foul smelling water.
Dom knew that he should have known better than to tempt fate on a day like this.