HE WAS LATE FOR THAT APPOINTMENT TOO
Terrence had always been a latecomer. His schoolmates, from elementary school, remembered that there had been no a day that he didn’t arrive in class, out of breath, all in a hurry, always after the lessons had already begun. Even when he was no longer a child, Terrence continued to be regularly late. He arrived late not only to appointments with doctor, with dentist, but even with girls to whom he cared a lot, with whom he had to insist very much because they agreed to meet him. Not to mention his delays at job interviews when he had started looking for a job. Since he was always late, he had to wait a long time before he could find a job, which he soon lost because he kept arriving late every day at his job. But even when he had fixed to meet with friends for a soccer match or a dinner, it happened that he always arrived when the match or dinner had already started without him. Sometimes he arrived when they were over..
So those , who knew him for his inveterate habit of arriving late , used to say, jokingly: “ Ah, Terrence…you will see that even death will get tired of waiting for him” Those who mocked him like that certainly could not know what would have happened several years later to that chronic latecomer of Terrence.
Many years had passed when something happened that no one would have ever expected, that no one could have ever imagined. Terrence, now a mature man, was satisfied with his work____he had set up a major travel agency. He was also happy with his family. After a first marriage, which had lasted a few months, he had married Helen, with whom he had three children, now teenagers. His life was a satisfying, comfortable and also peaceful life. What a pleasant surprise had been for him to receive that phone call from Charles, a friend of his teenage years, when they had been neighbors. Terrence had not known anything about him for years, since Charles had been living abroad for a long time. Charles was back in their town and he wanted to see him, he wanted to meet him as soon as possible. Of course, they had to meet. They had so many things to tell each other , not to mention the memories they had of their time together as teenagers. Terrence, enthusiastic, had invited Charles to dinner at his house, so he would know his family. And also, it must be added, Terrence would not have risked being late for their appointment. But Charles, after thanking for that invitation, had said that he preferred to meet him alone, at least for the first time they would see each other again. Of course he, Charles, would be happy to know his family later. So they had agreed to meet at the bar, Arlecchino, which was next the stadium. Terrence and Charles had frequented the Arlecchino as boys, after watching a football match or after a friendly game between boys. “ I’ll be waiting for you in front of the bar at five o’clock. We’ll go into the bar together ”Charles said him..
Charles perhaps, after so many years, didn’t remember that Terrence was always late. But of the two, the one who ignored something very important about the other was Terrence, as Charles couldn’t really tell him the true raison why he had called him and why he was so eager, indeed impatient to meet him. Eh, it had been a long time since they had been boys and had played on the soccer field. Then they had been friends, although, how can we say?( how to say?), friends in the lightness and in the heartedness of that green age, friends to have fun together. So, who knows if they had been really friends. He, Charles, thinking back to those times, he had a faded memory of Terrence. Indeed he remembered that Terrence was ( had been) often quite annoying and even snooty. If he was happy to see him again after so long? Well, to tell the truth, Charles didn’t ask himself the question. As soon as he had been again in the town, he had looked for Terrence , since he absolutely had to see him. It was a simple business matter. If he had not been able to see Terrence, to meet him, Charles couldn’t fulfill the assignment which had been entrusted to him. He had therefore considered it appropriate, indeed necessary to give him an appointment to be sure he would see him again, instead of relying on chance that in that town, sooner or later, he would meet him again. Charles was in a certain hurry to accomplish the task that had been entrusted to him. Therefore the day after his phone call, Charles at five in the afternoon, but rather a few minutes earlier, was in front of the Arlecchino bat , waiting for Terrence.
As soon as Charles arrived, he sat at a table outside the bar and asked for a coffee. Among those who came in and out the bar there was more than one that ( who) he recognized, despite all the time that had passed since he had not seen them. But no one seemed to recognize him. Indeed no one seemed to pay attention to him. To the left of the bar, beyond the bend in ( of) the street, there was the stadium, with its soccer field, from where shouted words arrived to him. “ On, hurry up! On, get the ball!” ….” Warning: shot on goal!” Probably a football match ( game) was taking place , perhaps between boys, as then, when Charles and Terrence were ( had been) teenagers.
Twenty minutes ( had) passed and Terrence did not arrive. Charles got up from the table in front of the Arlecchino bar and started to wait for Terrence , standing on the sidewalk. Anyway, when Terrence had arrived, oh they would take something into the bar, but then… Charles knew that , they , he and Terrence. would have to get away from there. He should have to get Terrence into his car and to take him to a….a suitable place. Well, maybe in the park next the station, which was just the right place. Time passed and not even the shadow of Terrence….Charles called him on the phone, but no one answered. He began to doubt that Terrence would come. A bad trouble for him ( it would be a bad trouble for him) , who could not wait to complete the task that had been entrusted to him.
Not that Terrence had forgotten the appointment with Charles, but, as usual, he was late. He had started in time towards the bar where he would meet Charles. But, on the way, he had had so many unexpected events that had led him elsewhere.
It had been about two hours since five o’clock. Charles, who had continued to wait for Terrence, going up and down the sidewalk, and ( going) up and down from the sidewalk to the bar, was about to leave, to stop of waiting for him, when he was arrested. He was wanted on an international arrest warrant. If Terrence had arrived on time for the appointment, Charles would have killed him, as he had instructed to do.