*bleee-be-be-be-bip* A man looked up from a piece of electronics sprawled across his work bench, and reached for the volume knob of a black box above him. "Unit Two One Nine, your case number five seven is category bravo, over *ksht*" a female voice spoke clearly but softly. He looked away, back at his soldering iron, but stopped halfway through the motion.
"This is unit six eleven, good morning Amy, we've got a fifty-five year old male quite short of breath here, does he have any cardiac history? Case six one, at fourteen twelve, over *ksht*" the male voice of a paramedic called in.
Peter blinked, and turned the radio up further, listening intently. "Amy?" he whispered.
"Roger that, six eleven, case six one has no previous cardiac history, over *ksht*" Peter's jaw dropped as the dispatcher responded. It was... it was that Amy. Slowly, and without deliberate mental action, he replaced his iron in its stand, and paused in his work to listen to her talking. He became completely absorbed in every syllable. The voice on the radio blurred, and his head began to spin.
"I wish you weren't leaving." She had looked deep into his eyes, struggling to maintain her composure.
He had wanted to kiss her, but couldn't find the courage to do so. Instead, they had embraced briefly, his fingers ran up and down her spine, tracing every notch. "Be seeing you," he tipped his hat as he stepped onto the tarmac. That was the last they had spoken. Peter had lost his job, they had offered him one in Townsville, and he had had little choice but to take it. He hadn't liked the idea of moving either.
He still occasionally thought of Amy, and wondered what had happened to her. The photo of her was still in his wallet. Peter's hand reached to his rear pocket. He flipped open his wallet, and withdrew the picture. She was short, her dark reddish brown hair was pulled loosely back in a sort of bun, her eyes were a ceramic blue behind dark square-framed glasses, thin smiling lips were framed between a square narrow chin and high puffy cheeks. Peter and Amy had been the closest of friends, they had been at uni together and knew each other inside out, she doing Media, and he Electrical Engineering. She was two years behind him, and he'd been working for a local FM radio station for a year until it collapsed. That was eight years ago, he'd changed jobs again since moving to Townsville, and had been working for the local Motorola service centre for the past five years now. Amy had had a boyfriend of sorts, Peter wondered if they were still together. He had never been interested in girls, well, not in that way anyway.
Gradually his mind began to return to the present, as if leaving a trance. Peter looked at the photo in his hand, looked at the radio module in pieces on his desk, and looked at the transceiver on the shelf above his desk from whence Amy's voice was coming, his eyes repeating the movements several times before coming to rest back on the photo, and a smile broke across his face.
It was a few minutes past six that evening when a white dual-cab Hilux pulled up in the carpark of the Queensland Ambulance Service head office and operations centre in Townsville, and Peter stepped out, a cardboard box containing the repaired radio module tucked under his arm, a spray of orange tulips resting across the crook of his arm.
"Evenin' Peter. You don't have to be here after hours, you know." the receptionist almost scolded him, but in a friendly way. He nodded to her, and she expected the man to proceed straight through to reinstate his equipment.
Instead, he stopped at her desk. "Candace, how many dispatchers are on staff here with the name of Amy?"
She looked puzzled for a moment before replying, "Just one, she's only been here a week." Noticing the flowers Peter was holding, she added in a suspicious tone, "Why?"
Peter placed his items down on the receptionist's desk, and took out his wallet. "And her shift ends at six-thirty, am I right?" He opened his wallet to reveal the photo of Amy. "Do you know, is she... is she still single?"
Candace nodded slowly, in response to both of Peter's questions, understanding breaking through to her.
"When she heads off, would you give her these please?" he handed Candace the tulips, "Don't tell her who they're from, but ask her to wait here."
Candace smiled, no words were needed, she understood.
"Thanks, mate." Peter picked up his box and disappeared down a corridor, softly whistling Right Here Waiting.
At six-thirty-three, I woman in her mid-twenties stepped from a corridor adjacent to the one Peter had walked down less than an hour earlier. She was dressed in high-heels, black stockings, a straight red skirt, and a blue knitted pullover. She approached Candace's desk, intending to sign out for the day. Candace looked up, "Amy," she pointed to the tulips, "would you mind hanging around a minute? Someone left these for you, and they'll be back to see you shortly."
"But who on Earth?..." Amy stared at the flowers in wonderment.
Candace looked past the woman she had been addressing as Peter returned to her field of vision. He placed a finger to his lips and smiled. She said nothing. Cautiously Peter approached Amy from behind. She was taller than he remembered, her hair was lighter and less red, and she was wearing earrings. But it was Amy sure enough. "Amy," he whispered, placing his arms loosely around her waist.
She tried to turn around, but his arms would not let her, she could only turn her head, "Pe...?" Whatever she was going to say next never made it out. Her mouth stopped moving when she saw him. His hair was close-cropped, not in a rat's tail like it always had been; a goatee partially hid a scar on his chin from a motor vehicle accident that she did not know about. She opened her mouth to say something again, but he placed a finger on her lips. She relaxed back into him, and he held her tightly.
A wide smile had spread across Candace's face by this time, but she remained silent, not wanting to break the spell.
After maybe ten minutes, Peter finally released Amy from his lock. They both tried to speak at once, then stopped, then tried to speak at once again. Peter won. "Let's go have dinner, and we can talk about it all there, okay?" Amy was beaming, she was beautiful to him. "One thing first though," he continued. He levelled himself with the girl in front of him, and placed a hand behind her head. As he drew her towards him, before his lips touched her forehead, she shivered slightly, but enough that he could notice. He pressed his lips against her skin, then whispered, "I love you."
Slipping his hand in Amy's, he turned to Candace. "Be seeing you."