Traffic Lights

There are two ways he can go. Left, to the motorway, the moors and whatever lies beyond. Right, to the certainties of home.

He sits stock still. Paralysed by indecision. The driver behind him loses patience: flashes his lights; beeps his horn. He starts the engine; lunges forward. Doesn’t indicate. He can’t. Not yet. He doesn’t know which way he’s going to turn.

A split second too late, he lurches to the left. The front wheel hits the verge. He straightens the car; picks up speed; steers a steady course. No more hesitation. This is his destiny, his plan.

He thinks of Linda, curled up on the sofa. Half watching TV, half listening for his car. Tyres crunching on the gravel; key turning in the lock. He pictures the front door; the living room; the kitchen; the decanter; whiskey; slippers; TV; bed. Images flicker through his mind in quick succession. Like film footage from his youth. Jerky movements; self-conscious smiles; out of focus; black and white.

It is already history. He blocks it from his mind. This is no time for nostalgia. He will not be going back.