This is a dark day. Outside, grey Manchester skies loom over damp pavements.
Inside, my own mood is equally dark.
Yesterday evening I was preparing to eat a meal whipped up from an ancient can of beans and a residual piece of gammon that I discovered lurking at the back of the freezer.
A phone call from acting captain John, Reed, of East Cheshire Chess Club.
Are you playing tonight? he asked.
I avoided a sarcastic answer such as ‘no I’m cooking my dinner’. My surprise was genuine.
I don’t think so I said.
You should be, we are playing at Stockport. John sounded weary, rather than head-banging angry. I left out excuses or protestations of innocence. The ghastly truth had struck home. I had missed a league match against the toughest of opponents in the Stockport league. I had let my friends and colleagues down.
I could get over straight away, I said rather pathetically, turning off the oven.
Silence from my phone.
I was calculating that I would already be running out of time, even if I could break the speed limit and reach Stockport before my clock left me with a little time to play the game.
John broke the silence. I’ll cancel the game then he said. I would be recorded as a no-show.
I turn the oven back on.
Later, the meal was to taste disgusting.
Soon I will learn the consequences of my no-show.
I must find a way of making amends.
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