Two points of view....

I shook my head in disbelief as the young man bounded into the compartment, falling flat at my feet

“Are you all right?”, I inquired. Not really caring one way or the other “Do you need a hand?”

“Thanks, I’m fine. Just a little late and overloaded”

I went back to my paper, ignoring his scrabbling as he picked up his belongings.

‘Just my luck! I really thought I’d get some peace and quiet tonight – tomorrow is going to be Hell as it is without some idiot chucking suitcases and stuff about. Really……!!! He’s going to engage me in conversation!’

“Do you mind if I hang this up here?”

“No, not at all!” I responded tersely

“My suit must not get crushed for tomorrow…..”

“Oh no, please!! I do not want his life story, his plans or him even talking!’

I shot him my coldest stare and settled back to his paper.

“..I’m getting married, you see, up in John O’Groats”

“You will be wanting to get some beauty sleep, then.” I quipped “The guard should be here soon to arrange the bunks

‘I hope he takes some bloody sleeping pills or there might be murder on the night train to the northern frontier” I scoffed to myself

At last, the guard arrived to turn down the beds. ‘Stars be venerated!’

 

“Wow, am I glad I caught the train.  Paul would’ve had me boozing the whole night away. I really shouldn’t have let him persuade me for one last boys drink as I should know by now what a bad influence he is on me! Fiona, that’s my intended, was anxious enough that I was meeting him last night, never mind today” I chuckled. I glanced at the surly man opposite.

“Are you off to Inverness or are you going further?  I’m changing at Inverness for Thurso.  Luckily Fiona’s sister, Cora will be meeting me there with the car to carry on to the hotel in John O’Groats.  I’m a bit nervous I must admit, I hope there are no delays, it being November, I was concerned there might be snow.  I understand that it can snow in the North, not like down here in the softy South, as all my new relatives will say” I realised I was chugging on faster than the train.

“Are you married?  No, sorry, that’s rude of me”

“I was” he responded “40 years.  She died last month”

I was devastated “Gosh, I am so sorry, My condole...

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Jennifer Lucas
Nov 22 2021

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