George starts at the beginning. Route 1. Every route from start to finish, a sticker on the window of each bus.
Come Home Adam.
There is only one Adam back home.
The bus snakes away from Tottenham Court Road, but he is nervous. He felt so sure yesterday, yet here he is, a terrifying city unspooling in front of him and now nothing feels quite so certain. He thinks of Margaret at home, listening to Radio 2 in the kitchen or tending to the flowers in the front garden.
Outside, grand statues and embassies do nothing to help him feel at ease. A large man heaves his way up the stairs of the bus. George moves his carrier bag in time to avoid his sandwiches being crushed as the man sits and dabs his forehead with a red handkerchief.
George crosses the Thames for the first time. It is wider, darker than he is expecting and a sense of foreboding weighs upon him, but that may be the clouds that skid in from nowhere and lash horizontal rain at the windscreen, bleeding the lurid colours of Bermondsey’s MOT centres and chicken takeaways. George closes his eyes.
This bus terminates here.
All through March is London-themed flash fiction, following George as he searches for his lost son. Part 1 of this story is here.