Paradise Induction Chapter 5 – Extract 18
They reached the bottom of the hill, that took them straight into town. The roads were busy and slow, with congestion catching them by the traffic lights at one of the major junctions before the roundabout.
“Right,” said Vernon as he parked up on the side of a main road with cars rushing by.
“Okay,” Chris replied. “I’ll see you back at home.”
“Yeah,” said Vernon. “Any trouble—call me.”
“Will do. Thanks very much.”
Chris felt his stomach punch out as Vernon drove off. He was asking too much. Staying at his uncle’s place made him uncomfortable already. Now borrowing money too. He didn’t like it at all and deliberately neglected to tell Vernon that he was going to the medical unit first, then find his own way back to the airport before he could deal with the Labour Department and finalisation of his Work Permit. It wasn’t right to ask anymore of him.
He crossed the busy main road, looking ahead at a huge building complex housing Government departments. Like most buildings in the Pharisee Islands, it was painted a bright colour—light orange in this case. Jogging the black asphalt steps, he entered the sheltered pathway that had signs pointing directions to the various Government sections.
He followed the one to the medical unit, taking some switch-back stairs up a narrow alcove. He found himself on a chrome balcony—the breeze coming in—and pushed open the glass door labelled Medical.
“We’re just closing up!” shouted a man with a strong Caribbean accent as Chris perused the white-walled waiting room. He saw the receptionist who was typing at his computer. He had a slim-fit white shirt, tight black trousers, and a hairstyle that represented the black man’s version of a Mohican, that Chris had noticed was becoming prevalent in the UK. It seemed that the Caribbean had taken to it as well.
It was early afternoon, thought Chris. How can they be closing now?