Been a while hasn’t it 🙂 never the less, here we are again. Only the one chapter as I haven’t had time to write any more, but some of you will get an answer to the question you’ve been asking me 😉
It was the middle of the morning rush hour, commuters herded their way through the train station, small groups splintering off to rush up or down flights of stairs to reach their required platforms. They pushed their way ever closer to the yellow lines that marked a safe distance from the edge in order to improve the odds of them getting on the train first and therefore being able to have a seat for their journey and not have to stand nose to armpit with some stranger or other.
The 8:15 came to a standstill five minutes late, the doors hissed open and a flood of people from inside the train met the barricade of people outside it. The two groups jostled their way through and eventually the platform cleared, leaving a handful of people who had decided that waiting for the chaos to sort itself out and taking their chances on getting a seat would be a more civilised thing to do. At some sort of unspoken signal they all boarded separate carriages and went in search of any seats that the crowd might have missed.
Two of them, a man and a woman, found seats in the same carriage although at opposite ends. Neither appeared to take any notice of the other. The woman had a large handbag that she placed directly in front of her on the small table, out of it she took her mobile phone and began tapping on the screen, just like the majority of the other occupants of the train.
The man had no luggage or bags with him. He had taken a seat as far back as he could go, right by the door, so that no one would be behind him and he could see the the whole of the carriage without having to turn round. He took in his fellow travellers from behind a pair of sunglasses, mostly it seemed to be half asleep business people, some were nursing Styrofoam cups of coffee but as yet didn’t appear to be feeling the effects of the caffeine. He picked up one of the free newspapers that were scattered on the table and turned to the sports page.
Gradually the carriage began to empty. Those who had been made to stand could sit down, though no one took any of the available seats by the man at the back who was still seemingly fixed on the football results. The woman with the bag stood as the train approached the last but one station and headed up the aisle towards the door. She accidentally caught the man’s arm with her bag.
“I’m so sorry” she smiled her most polite smile.
Her smiled widened at the hint of an accent, but it was wasted on him. He was engrossed in his newspaper again. Oh well she thought, his loss and got off the train.
The man with the paper was soon forgotten as she left the station and went about the business that had brought her to the last but one town on the line. Not that her business had to be conducted in this particular place, she’d chosen it because it was far enough out of the city without being too far. She didn’t know anyone here which meant no one would know her either and she wouldn’t be here long enough to be remembered. It didn’t take her long to find the post office, it was right where google maps had told her it would be. She had spent the journey memorising the directions, she didn’t want to be looking at her phone as she walked. There wasn’t a queue, she paid the postage for the package in cash and then she left. Now she had an hour to kill before the train home arrived. She got a latte to go from the first coffee chain shop she came to and wandered round the town as if she was doing a little shopping or maybe meeting a friend.
No one in the town would ever remember her being there. The lady behind the counter in the post office saw a lot of people come and go.
The man on the train however was a different story, no one ever escaped his notice.