What a difference three letters can make. Three innocent letters. Three innocent letters can totally transform one word. They can also completely transform an area and an evening. See how powerful three innocent letters can be?
The night before my friends wedding I did something very stupid. I was so mortified with my own stupidity that I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it. Until now. Now I can actually laugh at my careless action and the ridiculous situation I found myself in. Believe me, I did not find it remotely funny at the time.
I’ll start at the beginning. The night before my friends wedding I left the office in a rush. I vacated the building later than planned, due to an unexpected telephone call. Therefore I was in a rush to board my train for the dinner date at my friend Caron’s house. She was cooking curried cottage pie for myself and our mutual friend Claire, and I was scheduled to arrive at 7pm.
My taste buds were already working over-time, imagining the delightful cottage pie, and I was hurrying myself along, looking forward to catching up with my dear friends. In my haste, I failed to see three innocent letters at the end of one word. Three letters which caused a great amount of stress and panic amongst my friends and I.
Fantasising about the cottage pie and slightly worried about the time, I glanced at the board at the train station. I sighed in relief when I noted the next train to my friends town would be leaving in two minutes, from platform 15. I practically ran to platform 15, so as not to miss the train. Jumping through the train doors I spied a window seat and sat down with my newspaper. Phew, I thought to myself, it looks like I won't be so late after all. Ha, if I only knew then what I know now.
Remembering there would be a few stops until my journey ended, I opened my newspaper to see what was occurring in the outside world. Politics, tragedies and celebrities. I read the newspaper, happily absorbing myself in the outside world. After a while I looked out of the window to see which station we were at, thinking that I should be at my friends town very soon.
My heart skipped a beat when I read the name of the station the train was departing from. Anxiety started to rise in my anxious body. Where the heck was I? I had never heard of that station. That station was not on the way to Caron's house. I looked around for a friendly face, already dreading the answer to my question.
I asked a man where the train was heading, and if it was the correct train to my friends home town.
I was literally miles and miles away from where I was supposed to be.
The man laughed as I gasped in horror, and I realised I had failed to see the letters H – A – M at the end of the crucial word, on the board, at the train station.
Three letters, that’s all they were. They were not hiding from me, they were not trying to trick me, but for an unknown reason my eyes had not registered them. I gasped again when reality hit me and my brain worked out how long it would take to rectify my journey. And to top things off, the battery on my mobile telephone was wickedly beeping at me.
Panicking, I found Caron's telephone number in my mobile contact book, and I managed to call the number and yell, “I’ve got on the wrong train!” before my battery hopelessly died.
I could feel my cheeks burn an angry and embarrassed shade of red as I realised how careless I had been. I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry. Or both. My stomach rumbled in sympathy when I thought about the curried cottage pie patiently waiting for me. My body shivered as I disembarked at the next station. I pulled my cardigan around me for comfort, cursing myself for not wearing a sensible coat. I was hungry, cold and mighty peed off.
Three hours it took me to correct my journey. Three long, lonely, cold, hungry, frustrating hours. And all because of three small letters.
Three hours late, at 10pm, I rang my friends doorbell, nearly weeping in relief at finally arriving at my destination. My friend flung open her front door and hugged me tightly.
“Thank God you’re here! I've been so worried about you. Where on earth did you go?”
“Three letters!” was all I could say, as I walked, traumatised, through my friends front door.
I could no longer prevent the evil and sadistic thoughts that flashed through my tired mind, directed at the three letters. Three letters H - A - M which completely changed a word, a journey and an evening. I despised them. And I thought it was only fair that they accepted their share of responsibility for sabotaging my Friday night.
Picture of the day: