The Return Of The Army Of Light – Excerpt – Inspired by There’s No Place Like Home
After weeks of running into each other, and exchanging glances, on the Number 11 Tram, Peter decides to talk to Justin once and for all. This day, May 1st, 1964, may be the last chance he has to do it. The next day, after nearly 60 years, the number 11 would do its final trip from Thorndon to the Newtown Tram Barns in Wellington.
In all the years working at the bank, nobody ever called Peter to a meeting at 4:30 until that Friday afternoon. By the time the meeting was over, an hour later, Peter knew he had definitely missed the tram. He took a later tram and had to stand on the aisle as there were no seats available. He was sad, and for a brief moment mourned the life he was never going to share with Justin. When the tram was about to take a left on Manners Street, Peter looked at his watch; it was almost 5:55 PM. He looked through the tram windows to see what part of town they were at. He looked at his watch again.
Friday’s heavy traffic was making today’s trip slow; besides, the conductor was taking his own time. Most likely this was his last ride, so he wanted to make it memorable. He was unhurriedly riding through the city, ringing his bell and waving to pedestrians and people in cars. At 5:57, they were just cutting through Victoria Street. Peter rang the bell and jumped out of the tram as soon as it stopped. He sprinted up Manners Street and then went up Cuba Street. It was 5:59 by the time he got to the Wellington Working Men’s Club entrance; with luck, he would be able to catch Justin on his way out of the six o’clock swill.
Peter looked at his watch again, six o’clock, and for the next few seconds the sound of empty glasses hitting hard wood tables and bar tops came out of pubs, echoing down the street. Peter stood in front the Wellington Working Men’s Club entrance; the club was busier than ever with many workers celebrating International Worker’s Day. At around 6:01, Peter saw Justin coming out among the crowd of men leaving the pub. Justin looked at him smiled and sighed, his eyes lighted up. Peter smiled; a soundless hello came out of Justin’s mouth.
The tram Peter had disembarked a few minutes earlier was finally arriving at the Wellington Working Men’s Club stop. Peter and Justin boarded the tram, it was still standing room only, so they just stood in front of each other, not a word was spoken.