She is always misplacing me that girl. Her mind, like a sieve, has me abandoned in toilet booths and on sink tops waiting, patiently I might add, for a moment of recollection. Maybe she needed to check the time and having no watch to speak of I am always her first port of call. When she reaches down into the bag to press a key and illuminate her on this matter she will be left confused. As I am no longer in that bag, nor in her pocket, nope not even the jacket pocket. Now she is panicking. And will have to once more retrace her steps in the hope of stumbling upon me (which is why I stay put in these instances).
Usually I am alone for about 20 minutes or so but this time, after our daily trip to Pret A Manger I lie, slightly obscured from view by a granola bar, on the bench top. I am starting to worry a little. People come and go, that crayfish salad sandwich is ever so popular, each one ignoring me as they rush back to their office jobs or to sit awhile in a park somewhere to spend some time with their food and their thoughts. Getting frustrated with her now I am vibrating, some might say with rage, others might say it was a text message. Then my granola shelter shifts and a small, sticky hand reaches up, seemingly without an owner, to grab at my shiny exterior. Gummy paws of a toddler are suffocating me. I watch his mother intently, for soon she should realise I am not her child’s toy and I should be put right back to where I was stationed, until my true master returns apologetically to retrieve me. She looks hassled. Her hair is all tangled and some strands are plastered over her face as she tries to manage a mountain of necessities that overflow from the pushchair. Her bag is bottomless, she seems to think, as she rummages deep down to find the correct change for her much needed lunch. Crayfish no less. She is distracted to the point of futility. I fear she is not my ally here and moments before she is done settling up I go right into the compact pocket of my treacly friend. Now I am blind. Unable to track my course as we bump along the path to our next destination I sense the terrain is altered. The smooth, occasional jolt of the concrete is now soft, a more serene grass perhaps is underwheel. And then we stop. My “protector” hops out of his seat and begins to run around in no particular order. He, too, is excited by the green turf. But, like with many toddlers he gets overwhelmed by the joy of freedom and the outdoors and his stubby legs flail outwards gathering increasing momentum until his training, thus far in life, reaches it’s limit and he topples head first into the soft lawn. At the exact same moment his pocket relieves me of my trap and I bounce lightly along the green to be hidden again from sight.
Days pass. Days of loneliness and the desperation that comes with no hope. Not one ounce of hope since neither master nor I have any clue as to my whereabouts. I shiver and as light turns to dark and back to light again I have no faith in my salvation. I drift off. Shivering as I warn myself and anyone close by, if only, that I am dying. My life force is diminishing as the dusky light flickers and day again transforms into night. I have a faint recollection, a dream as I fade, of a bounding creature snuffling around my grave. Nudging me to stay awake and even slobbering all over me in what I take to be encouragement but he probably wanted a bite to eat. I cannot oblige. My strength evades me and I sleep.
Beep beep. Beep beep. What’s that beepin’ now? Is this the afterlife for mobile devices? Have I left the world of portable communication to a heaven of unlimited minutes and texts with no need for any added bundles? Nope someone just charged me. I shiver again. Still without optimism I dread to discover my fate. Oh no wait it was just another text.
“Please return me. It is essential for my thesis that I am reunited with my phone. (Being an architectural student) I am wholly reliant on the numbers contained herein and so I urge you to please return this silvery piece of technology to my college. The details are…..”
As the blurry image before me eases into clarity I see a smile on a young student’s face. She brushes off the last hardened scrap of mud tarnishing my shiny look and pops me in a padded envelope for what will turn out to be my final adventure on my time away from J. Still unsure of my ultimate end I am a little anxious but there was something in that smile that made me feel warm inside (or was it just that I was fully charged at last?) Something kind in those eyes that urged me to feel calm and safe. I was delivered securely to the Porter’s Lodge and collected shortly afterward by my master, who had missed me dearly. I could tell. She was so delighted to have me back in her life that she called everyone she knew to tell them of my mysterious adventures, which I overheard had me ‘missing in action’ for over one whole month. I was quite proud of myself in fact. I had survived a child, a park, the outdoor fluctuations in temperature in England, a dog and a student. I am made of some strong stuff. I was happy.
As we wandered back to our home, like something out of a Jane Austen novel, I was out of danger and in one piece. We climbed the deep wooden staircase and opened the door to our cosy abode. And there lying on her desk was a…… a Nokia!!!! What the….???
Successful adventures can be a confidence booster. Look at my new air of arrogance!
This is in no way intended to reflect the views or actions/experiences of any sisters I may have and any similarities that this tale may refer to are purely coincidental. I will say however that both my sister’s recently returned phone and the narrator of this piece are of identical branding but again this is entirely by chance.