It was always like this. The torment of the passing time, bleary head swimming with paranoid thoughts. Thoughts that were almost so improbable he would have laughed at them at any other moment.
Not now though.
Now his palms were wet, his tongue felt like it had never before experienced moisture and never would again, his whole body tingled and he was sure his heart was going to hammer it’s way out of his rib cage within the next ten seconds. He would have like to have said this was just a one off reaction, built around circumstance. That wasn’t true though. Indeed this was a situation that his younger self would never have dreamt of experiencing but nerves had always ruled him.
He looked at the phone he had laid before him on the table. He stared at it like a dog trying by telepathic will alone to make a treat jump from its packet.
He kept telling himself it was early yet. Largely because it was, he’d been sat there for forty five minutes already. A full hour before the time contact was to be made. He never understood why he had to be somewhere to take the call. It was his phone, he could have taken the call on the toilet for all that it mattered. He thought of nowhere he would rather be as his stomach joined in with the nervous party his body appeared to be throwing.
He groaned, a groan which echoed around the marble walls of the gallery. The paintings dotted around did little to deaden the sound chamber and he was sure that people on the floor below would hear if he as much as scratched himself. Why here?
The art on the walls made him wonder why it had been chosen to be exhibited. He didn’t think it was very good. All landscapes, scenes from a bygone era that never existed anywhere except inside the artists head. He liked portraits, people, something going on. Hell even the dogs playing poker would have helped distract him.
He glanced at the phone again, in case he had missed anything in the 3 seconds he had let his mind wander. Still nothing. Why did this piece of black glass and aluminium not spring into life and let him know one way or the other. Not too much to ask surely.
The paranoia was putting him through the wringer now. Sweat beads appeared on his brow despite the coolness of the room. His head whizzing to different conclusions at a million miles an hour, only pausing briefly on the worse case scenarios. He had been given assurances, he wouldn’t have embarked on this journey if he hadn’t. It didn’t surprise him how little comfort they brought now. To his paranoid mind even the most honest and loved became liars. Liars playing him like a puppet for their own amusement. He would be all over the news, the police would come, his mother….
And then it rang.