Where’s Linda? I think.
I stop buffing and stacking bananas and go up to the office with the old lady in it.
Where’s Linda? I ask the old lady.
Linda? says the old lady. She looks through some bits of paper. She finds something and looks at it for a while. Linda called in sick today, she says.
Do you mind if I use the phone and call her?
Go ahead, says the old lady. She passes me a sheet with Linda’s contact details on it. I look at the address. Linda lives down the road from me.
I dial the number on the sheet.
It rings. Someone picks up. Hello? someone says, warily.
Linda? I ask.
Hang on, the voice says. There is the sound of someone walking away and saying Linda? Phone for you, and then someone else walking to the phone. In the background is the sound of a TV.
Hello? says another voice.
Put Linda on.
Who is this?
This is the supermarket.
Linda’s sick. She can’t come in.
Is this Linda?
Linda’s sick. I just told you.
Linda, if this is you, then please come in to work. We really need you. It’s an emergency. We have a fruit emergency here at the supermarket.
I’m sorry. I’ve got to go.
Linda. Please. God.