Harry Webb shouted a breathless “Goodnight” to Arthur, the gate-man at Wilkins Toolmakers.
He hurried through the drizzling rain toward the bus-stop that was four hundred yards away from the factory.
His thin raincoat did little to deter the rain which had now developed into a heavy shower.
Going as fast as his tired legs would propel him he turned the corner, only to see his bus slowly driving away from the stop.
"Damn!, now he would have to wait thirty minutes for the next one.
What a bloody awful day this had been.
He had had to get to work earlier than usual this morning to help escort visitors around the factory floor.
Visitors who would hopefully place large orders with old Wilkins, and in doing so ensure work for the labour force there for a few more months.
How he wished he had never started working there all of those many years ago.
During his thirty two years service for Wilkins he had risen from tea-boy to shop-floor manager, and yet he couldn’t afford to run a car, let alone buy one on the meagre wages that he received.
How easily old Wilkins could have given him a lift home, after all, he passed Harry’s house on his way, but oh no, that was too thoughtful for Mr.Bloody Wilkins.
Harry had visions of his storming into Wilkins office one day and telling him he could stuff this job, but in his heart he knew that that day would never arrive, for he had left it far too late in life for such heroic scenarios.
No, he was stuck there for the rest of his days and that was for sure.
Harry was more than happy to reach the shelter of the glass-enclosed bus stop.
He smiled at the lady who moved along the metal bench to allow him to sit.
He was so damned tired. He sat in the corner of the shelter and closed his tired eyes and reflected on his position at Wilkins.
He had worked there all of these years, and yet here he was, at his age, still racing for a bus.
Everyone in the factory knew that Harry was the lynch-pin of the works, and yet old Wilkins still treat him like a nobody, forever grumbling whenever Harry had approached him for a rise in pay. Bloody old miser.
Harry felt warm and comfortable sitting there in the corner, and it wasn’t until the lady next to him shook him that he realised that his bus had arrived.
He rose hurriedly, for he certainly didn’t want to miss this one too.
He clambered aboard and proffered his pass. The driver barely looked at it.
He took a seat toward the rear of the bus and started to peruse the other passengers. He couldn’t recall having seen any of them before on this bus, and there was such an assortment of them.
Some were obviously city-types, the type you would never expect to find on a bus. Others were of mixed nationality, and there was even an apparently homeless woman sitting there.
He was taken aback that the driver had allowed her onto the bus.
He liked the new white uniform that the driver was wearing, but he didn’t think it would stay so pristine for very long, not on these dirty buses.
The bus slowly pulled away from the stop and Harry once again closed his tired eyes.
At the bus stop, the lady who had been sitting next to him gave out a shriek of alarm. She had thought that Harry was asleep, but when she had shaken him, she had quickly realised that he was quite dead.