He can’t be bothered
going to work, to face
the tower of paper
that sits on his desk,

and spend half the day
on the phone to IT
because something
keeps beeping at him.

He wouldn’t be noticed
by anyone all day. They
think he’s too old to
say anything interesting.

But if he doesn’t show up,
his absence will be noticed
and his P45 will land on his
doorstep in tomorrow’s post.


“I’ll get a coffee,” he
says to himself and
he recalls a greasy
spoon nearby.

Nancy’s Cafe. You
take a seat, a lady
takes your order and
the coffee comes to you.

But Nancy’s has turned
into Starbucks – it takes
three people to make a
cup of coffee. Henry sighs.

He dodges pushchairs,
squeezes past tables
and trips over handbags
to join a long queue.

Mochas and Frappachinos,
where is the normal coffee?
Henry just wants a coffee!
Fair Trade? At £3.10 a cup?

A teenager asks for his
order in a monotone voice.
Another takes his money
and counts the change slowly.


Henry goes to the office,
his white shirt stained
with coffee because drinking
from cardboard is new to him.

Five of his colleagues have
pointed and laughed.
He sits down and hides
behind his paper towers.

The highlight of the day
is lunch. His colleagues
go to the pub. Henry is
left alone at his desk.

Henry is happy to eat his
cheese and pickle sandwich,
undisturbed by laughter
and ringing telephones.


The phone never rings,
he thinks the clock is broken,
it’s been half past three
for the last two years.


He walks home while
his colleagues go to the
pub but Henry hasn’t
got the invitation to join.

He can’t be bothered going
home. Most people can’t
wait to get home. But there
is no-where else for him to go.


Henry goes to the shop
on his way home. He buys
the evening paper, bread
and a tin of soup for one.

He gets home and changes
into his dressing gown and
slippers. Both are full of holes
but nobody will ever see them.

His house is empty, just
shelves full of books on
birds and wildlife. Why
would he read about people?

Henry feeds his two canaries,
who sit still on their perches.
They don’t care for Henry, as
he for them. They want food.


He has his soup and bread
sitting on a tray on his lap.
The evening news begins;
a man has been missing

for 20 years and the family
have given up on him. Henry
thinks it’s been so long since
he saw his. Have they given up?


About csharples

Originally from Preston but now living a suburban life in the South of Manchester, writing and editing in my spare time, working in admin during 9 - 5. I love writing fiction, short and long and it's most aimed for a younger audience. I read as much as possible, both crossover and adult fiction. My proudest acheivements to date are: a BA Degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. I'm the proud editor of a No 1 (and 2) bestseller in the Amazon Charts. I long to share my knowledge with fellow writers and want to keep learning and developing as a writer myself.
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