I stare at it. The icing a soft melting brown, the triangular shaped space where a slice used to be. It’s already cut. It’s waiting for someone to call over the counter and… I move on. Watching the wooden -or are they secretly plastic?- trays sliding along the bars, propelled by customer’s hands, I remember how I used to love being in charge of my very own tray. Not all that practical now.
Seeing that we are too late for hot food brings on dismay. I knew what I could eat but now?
I can almost feel my mind burn in the way of an overworked muscle as I sift through the now far more limited options available to me. As I settle on a sausage roll with reluctance, I think about a time when this would have been easy. When I would not have minded having to opt for something I could eat at home, when all the pain in getting here would barely have existed. It’s different now. I have to be so careful. Maybe if we weren’t here I could have gone to a shop tomorrow. No chance of that after today. Why didn’t I think of this? Why didn’t I wait for a better opportunity?
The time for complaining thoughts is over. What is done is done. Now I need to accept this. “Hot drinks?” I’m asked if I want anything and -though the whoosh of the drinks machines is tempting- I opt for water again.
Offering to take one of the two wood-plastic trays even I can see I’m being ridiculous; I don’t offer to take things, people offer to take me.
He wheels me over to the table and asks if I want him to move a seat so my chair has a place. Not today, I move to one of their chairs. Not fooling anyone though; the wheelchair is still next to me, jutting just under the Formica topped table so as to avoid blocking the way.