The Watch

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Two lives wound together by a fatal accident. Ten years later a simple batman watch on a tube reconnects the two commuters

 

‘Jubilee Line. The next train to Stanmore will arrive in one minute.’ Julie - the automated voice of the underground announcements always reminded him of dear cousin Julie, her voice was, well, they’d often joked as kids that she was a robot. But now that voice was a reassuring sea of calm amongst the rush hour commute at Canary Warf. It was a living hell. Business person after business person ramming their way onto already full tubes – defying any known Tetris game.

Nick hated having to commute from Canary Warf – he was lucky he only had to do it once a week and he would normally take a walk round the docklands after work so as to miss the busy hustle and beastly bustle. But not tonight, tonight his loving wife had invited her Parents over to celebrate their wedding anniversary. And if there’s one thing Nick knew it was to never be late for anything involving his Parents –in –law.

The tube came hurtling down the track slamming Nick’s focus back into the real world. He managed to squeeze into an already overcrowded and roasting tube. Surely it was not possible that this many people had all compacted themselves in. He managed to grab hold of a pole, he looked round, the deadly silence was deafening. Everyone was all over their phones. Escaping the crowded chaotic normality they were in. He peered round to see down the other end of the carriage. It, like the rest of the tube, was awash with designer blazers, shirts and ties. But wait, there was one arm that was more casual in just a woollen jumper and a watch. A child’s watch. No, surely he must be mistaken, he took another look. It was, it definitely was. The watch was a classic batman with J.P. engraved on it. No, this couldn’t be happening, not tonight.

But yes it was happening. As the tube slowed into London Bridge the arm repositioned. He saw a knitted shoulder move towards the door and vanish. Nick found himself barging through the crowded door of the tube carriage, trying to catch any glimpse of the knitted jumper, he saw a glimpse of it heading to the exit. He was flung into the daily exit the station speed walking championships and there just out of his sight he caught a glimpse of the woollen jumper. He hurtled through the throng of commuters, racing up out of the bustling station, till at the ticket barriers he finally caught up. ‘J.P’ he yelled, ‘J.P!’

J.P. stopped, stood stock still. He slowly turned round. Amongst the chaos of the commute unfolding before him he saw one chap staring, smiling at him. He knew that smile, he knew those piercing eyes. He had stared into them so many times, and he would willing spend the rest of his life starting into them. Nick.

He rushed over to him, embraced him in a hug. How he had missed Nick, how he had missed holding him, feeling his toned chest against his, his arms enveloping in an embrace of love. Ten years it had been, ten years since they had last seen each other. Ten long years. Suddenly all that he had gone through in the last years in Afghanistan fluttered away, the painful memories where slowly being blurred over with love and affection. Life had been cruel to him, he longed for these moments where he could escape the harsh reality of life. But reality slowly sunk back and his mind picked one of those painful memories, the one where he had lost so much but had found Nick. It had been a day like no other. Nick was in his car on the morning commute, he was three weeks into his new job, working for a well-known banking company. He had woken up holding in his arms the woman he loved, Emily. She had gorgeous blonde curly hair, and the most beautiful, bold blue eyes. It had only been a week since he had proposed to her. It was a calm peaceful morning as he was driving along, his favourite music filling the silent void. Suddenly out of nowhere a blue car came hurtling across the road, breaking the delicate bubble of happiness he had formed over himself.

J.P was in the back of his Parents car, off to visit his Grandad. It had been a tough couple of months for his Grandad after the death of his Grandma, it had affected them all more then he could have ever imagined. He looked down at his watch. The batman watch she had given to him for his eleventh Birthday. Since she’d gone he couldn’t bear to part with it. He couldn’t wait to see his Grandad, hold his hand and see his charming smile again. His Grandma might have gone but all the time he still had his Grandad he could cling onto those precious memories a bit tighter.

J.P remembered one fond memory of a holiday he had had with his Grandparents. They had gone down to Brighton, J.P had loved it, there was so much to see and do down on the beach – so many café’s to try, shops selling rock and sweet treats, the joys of the roller coaster and helter skelter on the pier, sounds of children laughing, happiness, seagulls waiting to scrounge their next meal and of course the sea, so calm and relaxing. Suddenly the car jerked, ripped from the memory his eyes focussed on his Dad who was clutching his heart, starting to bend over, both hands now on his chest, screaming. The car, it was starting to veer off, they were picking up speed. His Dad still holding his chest. The bang was deafening. Everything froze. J.P had been shook back and forth, his window smashed, glass everywhere. He looked up to his Mum and Dad. The windscreen was shattered into more than a thousand pieces. The bonnet pushed up to the window. His Dad was squashed between the steering wheel and the seat. A prisoner within his own freedom. His Mum’s head was slumped on the dashboard, blood pouring out, he could see her chest moving slightly, she was still breathing.

‘Hey, hey you alright? I’m calling an ambulance, stay where you are, help is on the way’ J.P looked towards the direction of the voice – a car had pulled over, a middle aged man was on the phone. J.P sat back in the seat, breathed a deep breath and for the first time in his life he prayed. Prayed to any god who would listen.

J.P was sat in a stark white corridor. Doctors and nurses rushing past him, machines beeping. He had had his wounds cleaned, glass removed and a check over. He had minor whiplash and was dosed up with painkillers. He was waiting outside the Intensive care unit his Mum was in. He had already been informed his Dad had not made it. A nurse came along, an angel amongst the chaotic backdrop. ‘J.P, I’m sorry, we’re not going to be able to save her, she won’t hold on much longer, would you like to say bye.’ He raced into the room, grabbed his Mum’s hand squeezed it hard. ‘Mum, Mum it’s J.P, Mum I Love you, I love you so much, Mum –‘ He was cut off by the heart monitor machine. He felt a hand on his shoulder, ‘I’m so sorry’. He sat, holding the nurses’ hand, numb, tears streaming uncontrollably down his face.

He sat with his Mum for what felt like forever. He felt lost, tired, alone. Alone. Just him, a tragic accident resulting in two cruel deaths. ‘I’m so sorry’. J.P turned his pained neck. It was the driver who had pulled over. ‘I’m so sorry, so sorry, if you need anything, anyone, I’m here, I just, I’m meant to be at work but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wondering if anyone had survived, if anyone could have survived it. I just can’t imagine the pain you must be in right now. Ten years later and J.P had never forgotten about Nick, never forgotten the man with whom he had been through so much. He was planning while back in London, on leave from Afghanistan, to visit Nick at his work, surprise him, and let him know that he still meant so much to him. And now here he was. A face happy to see him, a person who just wanted to be with him. A friend. A love.


Submitted: February 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 bernie12. All rights reserved.

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