Reserved Reservation

The Daily Prompt – Reservation


“Do you have a reservation?” The severe expression on the woman’s face gave no sign of easing.

I swallowed and stared at the man asking the queued individual beside me the same question, his countenance just as serious.

“Well?” She tapped a finger on her tablet.

“I… I don’t know.” My mouth had suddenly become dry.

“You don’t know?” Her eyebrows shot up and disappeared underneath the peak of her grey cap.

I shook my head, the movement almost unnoticeable. I pushed my hands deeper into the pockets of my black jacket. The hard plastic covering of my Citizen ID pressed into my palm. My skin prickled with goosebumps as the air turned colder. “They told me to come here.”

“They?” She tapped her tablet again.

A few people from the lineup beside me walked through the entrance. Whoever stood behind me heaved a loud and impatient sigh.

“My… my family.”

“What name?” She asked in a quiet monotone voice.

“I don’t know,” I said, fighting to keep my voice steady and failing. Her eyes glared at me. “Try Bailey, Beatrice Matilda Bailey.”

The woman typed; a second later she shook her head.

My stomach knotted. No one told me it would be under a reservation. “Bob… Robert Earnest Bailey?”

“Are you asking me?” The woman’s eyes narrowed.

“No… I just don’t – ”

“Mars Shuttle 8 will depart in two hours. Please make sure all paperwork is ready.” A voice boomed from an invisible source.

“Paperwork?” I questioned. My heart raced.

“No reservation, no need to worry about paperwork. Name?”

“Robert – ”

The woman interrupted me. “Nope, tried. One more guess and then off you go.”

Panic began to build. I needed to get on that shuttle and yet I was terrified about the journey, but I was even more terrified to stay behind. I doubted everything.

I stared at the other line. People moved by their guard and slipped inside the entrance, their faces vacant as though they were stepping inside an elevator. The lineup behind me grew more restless. I picked up the odd profanity and knew the words were directed at me.

“How should I know whose name the reservation is under if I don’t even know which of my family members made the reservation?” Nervous and hurried words rolled out of my mouth. “I have a big family.” I said as an afterthought in a quieter voice.

The woman shook her head and one corner of her mouth drew up into a partial smile, though she looked annoyed. “YOUR name.”

My cheeks burned red. “Oh. Gwen Beatrice Bailey.”

The woman tapped on her tablet. “You’re clear.” She stepped to the side.

“I don’t have any paperwork?” I stared at her open mouthed.

“Not my problem. Now go.” She turned away and asked the person behind me.

I stepped through the entrance unsure of what would happen next. I only hoped that my Citizen ID would prove as the necessary paperwork.

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