Before You Say Goodbye
Curbside alone, she searched the flow of traffic as it haltingly pressed along the curve of the passenger pick up area. Black London cabs funneled into their designated lane, with minicab vans and private vehicles clogging the approach. Traffic control officers waved the steady stream forward disallowing any attempt to linger at the curb. Aubrey looked to her wristwatch. Six thirty. He should have been here by now. Why did her gut feel like a pretzel? What if he’d missed his connecting flight? No….he’d have called. She slid her cell phone from the red woolen weave of her coat, eyes scrolling the screen for any missed calls. None.
Palm resting on the telescoped handgrip of her suitcase, she looked up to the thinning traffic. He was to meet her here. T3 forecourt, passenger pick up. They’d share a cab into the city, two rooms booked at the Claremont on St Auburn’s street. Two rooms, she hoped the second would quickly become obsolete. A fortnight in Old London Town wouldn’t be long enough if they were, as she sensed, meant to be.
Scanning the crowd of arriving passengers, she caught a glimpse of a man in charcoal gray calf length woolen coat. Jet-black wavy hair layered nearly to the shoulder, cream scarf tucked in at the lapels. It must be…but he was still a city block’s distance down the sidewalk. He paused and looked in her direction hesitating as though in like evaluation. Pace quickening, he made his way towards her, a smile spreading across his face.
She grasped the handgrip of her bag and took a few tentative steps forward. Yes…tall, slim, broad of stature, it had to be. Releasing her luggage, she forgot herself for the moment and rushed forward.
Twenty yards away from him a streak of black, a rain coated figure bolted into the scene. Awareness made all the more narrow by her concentration on Benn, she didn’t have time to blink before she saw him pushed– no forced into the open door of a waiting cab.
And then he was gone. The cab lurching from its temporary stop at the front of the queue, weaving around its neighbors with alacrity and skill, the door drawn shut almost the second it accelerated.
“Wait!” The word escaped her lips in astounded reaction. Wait? He’d obviously not gotten into that cab of his own accord. Shit….think.
Arm shooting up in demand, Aubrey hailed the next black marauder to her side. “Follow that cab!” she shouted to the driver as she swung open the back door and leapt in.
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