I held the cup between my fingers and looked out the patio door to the two blond head bent over their porridge. They were so alike yet one loved me and other didn’t. Tom and I didn’t speak last night after I told him about what I heard on the plane and what I saw at the ski slope. I wasn’t sure if it was my fault or his. He just told me to stop dreaming things up and that my imagination had gone haywire with this one. I just stopped speaking after that. I mean if he couldn’t at listen to my fears then what point was there and having any other conversation. I listened to his hopes and fears yet he wouldn’t bestow me the same courtesy.
“Mum, could I have some more milk?”
“Sure, love.” I walked to the kitchen and noted the cat had wolfed down his food. The dirty stop out had spent the night terrorizing the local gecko population and was no doubt asleep on my former bed as I poured the milk. I wondered if he would move to the guest room or would his loyalties remain with Tom and the four poster bed after all the cat loved luxuries.
I picked out a few words in their conversation – Hamilton, Räikkönen – to know that they were discussing Ollie’s favourite thing F1 racing. I placed the milk down and slipped back into the sitting room. Although I enjoyed watching the odd race I couldn’t deal with continuous discussions of the pros and cons of which car or which tyre.
I looked at my watch. It was ten past seven and Ollie would be late if I didn’t chivvy them along. I was waiting for them to go this morning so that I could speak to a counsellor. I couldn’t keep this anger building up any more.
“Finished, Ollie?” I watched him spoon the last mouthful in and Tom sipped his coffee. My eyes lingered on his lips and I couldn’t stop the yearning to kiss it again. I turned away.
The air went still and then the windows shook. The curtains billowed out vertical. A deep cratering sound filled the air.
“What the hell was that?” Tom was standing and looking to the sky.
“What ever it was it was close.”
“That was so cool. Did you see Pasha jump?” Ollie was on his feet pointing at the cat who was obviously not on my bed but now beside the sofa. “What exploded?”
“I don’t think it was an explosion. Sounded more like a collapse, a big collapse.” Tom was looking over the garden wall. A few more explosions could be heard.
I was standing totally still as a cloud of smoke rose just to the south in the direction of the mall. I walked to the kitchen and turned on the radio to see if there was any news. The morning radio shows picked things up quickly like the latest crash of Sheik Zayed Road. Hopefully they would end the suspence.
“You two had better head off. Traffic will be affected.” I shouted from the kitchen as I checked Ollie’s bag. Did he have PE to day? What day was it?
Reports just in that there is an explosion just off of Sheik Zayed Road near interchange three, drive carefully as traffic is already backing up. We will let you know more when we have details.
“What were they saying?” Tom strode into the room clutching his briefcase.
“An explosion near Sheik Zayed Road, interchange three. No other details at the moment.”
“I just hope it wasn’t a chemical explosion. The smoke is coming this way.” His eyes met mine and then he bent to pick up Ollie’s bag.
“I’m sure they will let us know if it is.”
“True. You’re home today if Ollie needs collecting early because of this?”
I nodded I wasn’t going to say what I was doing. I would have my mobile and wouldn’t be far.
“It wasn’t the ski slope, Sam.”
“I didn’t say it was.”
“You didn’t have to. Your eyes speak when you don’t. What you heard on the plane was what your mind has made it into.”
“I am a linguist.”
“Bahasa wasn’t ever one of your languages.”
“I learnt enough to translate those words easily.”
“You had taken a sleeping pill and not doubt a glass or two of wine so I wouldn’t rely on your language capabilities in those circumstances.”
“You never do under any.” The words were out before I could stop them.
“Sam, that is so bloody untrue.”
“What is bloody untrue?” Ollie walked in with the remnants of toothpaste around his mouth. I quickly wiped them away with my hand enjoying the feel of his smooth skin.
I watched the small head swing from his mother and his father.
“Come on mate or you’ll be late.”
“Yeah, Dad.” Ollie grabbed his bags from his dad and followed him through the door. How much did he know? How much had he picked up?
The smoke can be seen as far as Sharjah but we still don’t know what was the cause of the explosion and the smaller explosions but it is in Al Quoz between Sheik zayed and Al Khail Road. A large dark smoke cloud can now be seen from Sharja. Traffic is backing up. Please don’t stop to ogle keep moving. We will let you know when we have more details. There is also a five car pile up at the Trade Centre roundabout.
I watched them pull out of the drive as the smoke slowly covered the bright morning sun. I felt a chill even though I knew it was twenty five degrees.