Train stories ~ Short fictional stories inspired by real train commuters and I’ve intentionally not given the characters names. If I see you, I just may turn you into a story.
Date: 2nd January 2016
Head down, zipped up in her stylish black leather jacket and with her grey-blonde pixie cut hair being blown by the brisk wind, she searched deep into her green plastic bag for her snack.
As if searching for gold, she dug deep in her bag bringing out the already packaged salad and a few other items, even from a distance you could tell were expensive. She found the snack, a savoury pastry from the looks of things.
It had been a long day for her, but fun nonetheless. Earlier in the day she had lunch with her friends, yes the same friends that had supported her when she found out that her husband had prostate cancer. They had been her support system then and they remained her support system now.
Since her husband’s passing this would be the first time the ladies had caught up for lunch outside of her floral-themed-sun-inviting conservatory, she welcomed the change of scenery. What a way to to start the new year.
After a few attempts, she victoriously opened her expensive savoury snack and as she took a bite she willed her thoughts to earlier that afternoon.
As they sipped on their teas in the fanciest of Chinaware, they exchanged words of encouragement and spoke highly of their children and grandchildren and she couldn’t help but smile and feel that her husband was at the table enjoying lunch with them. He had approved of these women early in their courtship when they were just teens and standing at 6ft he was a man of very few words, but a squeeze of her hand or the intensity of his bright green eyes often confirmed his approval or disapproval and rarely was he wrong. He had the softest hands. She missed him dearly and the ladies knew she did.
“So this isn’t an ordinary lunch love, we have a special gift for you.”
Through her rimless frames she looked confused. What could they possibly want to give her now, Christmas had passed and they had done more for her than she could have imagined.
She leaned in towards the lone daisy centre piece and cautiously whispered to the other three 65 year olds as if she was telling of something scandalous, “Spe..special gift for me?”
With her vibrant ginger hair the youngest of them nodded and threw her hands in the air, which she did when she was excited; showing off her carefully manicured red nails she gripped the edge of the table to reveal the surprise, emphasising every single word to ensure she was heard by the group, “yesss, a speciaaalll gift. This summerrrrrr the fourrrr of us will be heading out. On. The. Caribbean cruise you haaaavvve always wanted to go on!“
Hearing this, she drew her ageing hands to her mouth as if to hide the smile that was slowly creeping across her face and she caught a tear drop on her gold wedding band – she couldn’t believe it! They had outdone themselves this time.
The replay of that tear-jerking afternoon was interrupted by the stopping of her First Capital Connect train to Luton. 2016, she prayed would be a great year of vigorous life. As she boarded the train she chuckled to herself with her heart full knowing that her husband had a hand in planning this surprise.