The Train Journey

I could feel the train coming to a steady halt. The stop after was mine I was sure of it. Outside the window was a layer of pitch black. The darkness was deceiving and could easily be mistaken for a tunnel. Pulling my thick duffel coat around me I’d forgotten how much colder it was here. The harsh winter air nipped my ears and nose as the train gushed past the Yorkshire countryside. One of the windows must be open I thought. The train you could tell was an old one, with dated logos and seating that was faded and frayed. Sitting on a window seat, I was lost in my own thoughts, wondering how many people had sat here before me, where they were going and who were they with. My day dreams then were abruptly cut short by the realisation of people boarding. A woman sat next to me, she smiled at me as she did. Smiling back I noticed her hair was delicately plaited into a neat little grey bun. She was perhaps my grandma’s age and was carrying her flowery handbag close under her arm. Reaching into her bag, she rummaged through and retrieved a novel. It was the book thief by Markus Zusak – one of my favourites. Although I only had a brief glance at the cover I knew exactly what it was. Without thinking I blurted out, ‘so interesting having death as the narrator’. The lady put her finger in between the book to mark her page then turned to me. She said in a thick Russian accent, ‘do you know that is exactly what I think too, I’ve never read anything like it before’. She then smiled at me again, this time I noticed up close the carefully applied blusher and lipstick and the matching pearl earrings and necklace she was wearing. Over the speaker my stop was announced as the next one. I gathered my belongings whilst making a comment on the book and how much I enjoyed it. She looked glad of the company on her way to wherever she was heading. Standing up I put my rucksack back on, whilst reaching deep in my coat pocket for my ticket. I carefully moved around her and she said for me to get home safely and to enjoy the rest of my night. Although it wasn’t much, it surprised me that a random stranger would be so kind. Usually on this train people are quiet, earphones in and the only sound they make is the grunt to the ticket collector. Smiling at her I said the same. It made me think, how different the younger and older generations are. 


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