It was morning again and I tentatively looked at my bedside clock. The bright digital number display read 6.57am. However it was the date that my eyes were drawn to. It was Tuesday 17 April, the same date as yesterday, and I knew it was happening all over again.
It had been 12 weeks now and I had awoken at precisely the same time on each of these mornings. The date was always the same and I knew exactly what events would unfold during the course of the day.
As I ate breakfast the same tunes played out in sequence on the radio. It was the same breakfast news report as yesterday and the day before that. I knew the train would be precisely 8 minutes late and so I left the house later than usual.
I had tried varying my routine after that first week to see if that would alter the course of events that would unfold and break this spell that was cast over me. At the end of the day I`d lie in anticipation in my bed at night waiting for the morning to arrive . Dozing finally in the early hours I would always awake to the inevitable. Same time, same date. No matter how I varied my routine it was always the same the next morning. I even tried not going to work but that made no difference.
As I walked to the railway station I knew with a mechanical precision who I would see. There was the man walking his two dalmatians in the park both tugging their owner along. The boy with his kite blowing in the wind. It would fall to the ground as the wind calmed. The dogs would chase it. All of this was like clockwork.
I got to the railway station. The platform was almost devoid of people which took me by surprise. The station clocked changed to 8.12am. I saw a station attendant and walked over to him.
“Has the 8.04 arrived yet?”
“Yes son, it was on time and left a few minutes ago”
“Thanks” I retorted, not quite believing what had happened.
I had missed my train because I`d assumed it would be late as it had been every other morning for the past few weeks. I could hardly contain my elation.
I decided to stay at home today and phoned work to explain I`d been up all night. it must have been something I`d eaten. I hurried home. Switching on the radio in my kitchen I listened intently for any differences in the days news reports. An air crash in northern China. This had not been reported in the preceding weeks. At last it was over.
That night for the first time in weeks I slept soundly. I awoke with a start the next morning and looked at the clock. 7.04am. I smiled, but then saw the date, it was Tuesday 17 April.