Washrooms

Cineplex, 2019

Cineplex, 2019

WRITING PROMPT NO. 201

“Wait here. I’ll be back in two minutes.”

Rachel did a run walk in the direction of the toilets. Patricia sat down on the green vinyl sofa nearby. The plastic made the backs of her legs hot and sweaty. She shifted in her seat pulling her skirt down a little more underneath her legs.

“You can’t sit there,” said a voice.

She looked up to see a man staring at her.

“I…I’m just waiting…for my sister,” she said, stumbling over her words.

“Nope. Sorry. Not there. You can’t wait there.” The man continued to stare, the rest of his face impassive.

“I’m sorry?” Patricia’s face flushed pink as she gathered up her things, getting ready to stand.

The man burst out laughing.

“I’m just messing with you,” he said, tears glinting in his eyes. “You should’ve seen your face!”

The man walked away talking to himself, his head twitching. Patricia sat still. Adrenaline was flooding her body but there was no crisis for it to attend to. Her heart thudded in her chest and she was close to tears. She clutched her bag and sunglasses unable to let them go until her breathing had returned to normal and the pink had faded from her face.

“Sorry about that. Desparate for a wee,” said Rachel smiling down at Patricia. “Thanks for looking after my bag,” she said. “Patty?” Rachel touched her arm. “You okay?”

Patricia gave a start at the feel of Rachel’s hand.

“Patty, you look as if you’ve seen a ghost.” Rachel sat down next to her sister on the sofa. Patricia noticed she was wearing trousers.

“I think I did,” she said, her voice quiet and low.

“You think what honey?” said Rachel resting her arm across her shoulder.

“I think I did,” Patricia said. “ I think I did. Just see a ghost.”

Feeling brave? Want to share your story? In the words of one Disney princess, Let it go, in the comments below.