Normally so comfortable, Chloe’s Docs may as well have been made of lead. Each clomping footfall echoed off the sterile corridor walls, her mother’s words pulsing in her ears as she ran.
‘Don’t be late, Chloe.’
Don’t be late. Shit. Her mother was going to go ballistic after all the strings she’d pulled to secure this volunteer position at the very last minute.
‘I’m onto it, Mum,’ she’d insisted, referring to the blank paperwork sitting on her desk. She simply hadn’t got to it yet, that’s all.
Chloe had been a bit miffed when her mother insisted on taking over and calling Hilary, the manageress, on Chloe’s behalf. She might be the youngest child but she was nearly eighteen.
Tonight, Chloe would have to explain why she’d been late on her first morning. She imagined trying to tell her mum she’d been distracted taking a photo of a toddler on the bus. The sun had been shining through the kid’s blond curls and they looked like an angel’s wings. Chloe missed her stop and had to walk back to the hospital from the next one.
Her mother would sigh, head on one side. Chlo-ee. The disappointment was way harder to handle than a full-on dummy spit. She wouldn’t understand how taking a photo could make someone miss their bus stop. No point explaining that the best shots were always the candid ones, and that if Chloe didn’t capture the beauty of the moment it would be lost forever. If the inside of a bus could be considered beautiful. Later, she would edit the photo on her laptop, cropping out the ugly background and experimenting with different exposures and filters…