He stands there, staring at the glass window, trying to decide what inside takes his fancy. It’s been a long time, he begins to think to himself, since he’s indulged himself on such a fine treat, scratch that, just a treat, fine or cheap, either way, it’s been a long while. A voice bursts through the speakers of the hospital and he jumps ever so slightly.
“Doctor Everly, can you come to ward B, room twelve,” the voice says, he grumbles under his breath and turns back to the window, looking again at the many different flavours and sizes that the machine holds, his mouth waters as he finally locks his eyes on the prize and he digs into his pockets, pulling out a handful of coins and he rifles through them until he finds what he is after and begins sliding them into the machine.
“So, what did you choose?” A voice asks from behind, he jumps and turns quickly around, looking at the scantily dressed young woman, running his old weary eyes up and down her, before letting out a groan.
“That, is none of your business young lady, why don’t you go and put some clothes on,” he says as he turns back to the machine and continues to put in his money.
“There’s no need to be rude old man, I’ve only been waiting, patiently I might add, for you to make up your mind for the last twenty minutes, so maybe you could just hurry yourself up!”
He stops and turns again, once more looking her up and down, “How dare you, the youth of today have no respect for the elderly, I’ll have you know I fought in two worlds wars to make this world safe for brats like you, so if I want to take twenty minutes choosing a fucking treat, that I rarely ever do, I will do, just that!”
She smiles, “What the fuck old man, you think I give a fuck about what you’ve supposedly done for me? We’re standing in exactly the same position right now, and no bullshit, what I did in the war speech is not going to change a god damn thing, so sure, take your time, I don’t give a fuck, but if anyone has the right out of you and me to be fucking angry, bitter or holier than tho, it’s me, not you?”
“What? You’re just another typical kid who believes the world owes you everything, well girly, I don’t owe you a thing, so why don’t you just run along before you embarrass yourself anymore.”
She grabs him by the collar and slams him into the vending machine, “You stupid old fucking man, I was a passenger in the car you fucking totalled, you took my fucking life from me and act like you don’t even fucking care, so why don’t you run along!”
His jaw drops as the tragic moments that took place before he found himself standing in front of the vending machine rip through his mind like a hot poker, he stopped at his local pub and spent the next four hours getting totally ripped before stumbling back in his car and heading home, he remembers the headlight of the oncoming car, the horn sounding and then the impact and his lip quivers and he looks into the dead girls eyes and realises, that maybe today is not going to play out as planned.
The challenge was, ‘old man at the vending machine.’