by Debbie Kinsey
Afterwards I sat for a while to watch the queue. Years ago there were more people joining the end than leaving the front. It was different now, of course. Most people don’t bother.
That one at the front is crying, but the man at the desk is shaking his head. He always shakes his head. He does add a little sigh and shrug as if he would keep it if he could. It’s a nice touch. The roll of his eyes as she turns back gives him away, though. It’s just another job to him. Look, he’s glancing up at the clock for home. It must be a thankless job, turning people away all day.
Oh, there’s an academic one now. He’s all dressed up to prove his seriousness. Silly boy, he made a mistake. They’re not going to keep something about art. There, he got his sigh and shrug.
I never used to understand why people had objected to the change. I supported the paperless system. Less mess, less damage. I even supported the data drops. Why should someone’s data be kept once they’re gone if it won’t benefit our development? We need the storage space, so no point cluttering it with worthless megabytes no one will see.
But here I am. I was in the queue and I got my sigh and shrug. Got one of those wry smiles too when I explained what I wanted. They asked the wrong questions to my right answers and I couldn’t make them see. So, they deleted her pictures. My little girl. She’s never existed now.
Debbie Kinsey writes in Yorkshire and lives in short fiction.