Oh, he loathed visiting the GP. The clinic smelled of antiseptic and old people and pee. The doctor was usually patronising or arrogant. The waiting room stifling; the heater turned up too high in an attempt to quell the distasteful mix of odours.
But the pain in his left arm, and a tightening in his chest had been going on for a while now. His ankles were swollen, and he’d been having trouble going to the toilet. Even he knew an appointment couldn’t be put off any longer.
The next morning, Bob rose early. Showered, shaved and dressed. He sat at his dining table for breakfast. Made a cup of tea. And waited.
After lunch, the taxi arrived and Bob locked the front door.
’29 Merry Way, please,’ Bob said politely, after sitting in the back seat of the vehicle.
The driver nodded and drove on.
Forty-five minutes later, Bob left the clinic with prescriptions and leaflets and sachets. A letter to a cardiologist. The GP was confident Bob would be fine; the referral to the specialist simply a matter of precaution.
As the taxi drove Bob towards home, he felt vindicated. Hummed a little tune as he thought about how doctors were a waste of time. The body healed itself.
‘Actually,’ Bob said to the taxi driver. Their eyes met in the rear vision mirror. ‘Can we make a small detour?
‘Of course. Where to?’
The driver didn’t see the truck that ran the red light. He didn’t hear the screeching of tyres, nor smelled the burnt rubber. But Bob did.
‘Watch out!’ Bob yelled.
There was nowhere to go. Bob watched in horror as the truck careened its way to the taxi, its cab smashing with a force that propelled the car upwards, onto the roof of the car behind it, and continued to tumble pell-mell over the traffic until it was flattened and unrecognisable.
Both occupants of the taxi perished in the collision.