An Unexpected Trio

Trio member one: me, a weary and lost young women trying desperately to get to Thatcham and failing. She had planned for the journey to be three things: quick, straightforward, pleasant. However, as is often is the case in life, the sliding doors complex arose. She missed the train by a fraction of a minute (perhaps 1/4) leaving the rest of the journey in a state of chaotic catch up. First, was London Paddington to Reading. Then a stressful potter at Reading. Next, Reading to Theale. It was supposed to be Thatcham- the train continued on to there- without her. She found herself overwhelmed in a hot and busy carriage full of young men dressed to the nines, and families poshed up for the Newbury horse races (an event that she had never heard of until stepping onto the strain- bustling past the cyclists, the bags and the sweat). It was when she stumbled out of the carriage, over the bags, ahead of the cyclist that her eyes fell upon the sign: Theale. It was the wrong stop. She felt her eyes welling up, her breath quickening and the she saw him…

Trio member two: Gawain, a fairly young, fairly unusual character. A friendly face, a mop of ashen hair and prominent teeth- noticeable, attractive. As he arrived at Theale from Swindon his eyes fell upon the back of a girl in black; her hair loose and free absorbing the hot English sun. It felt like summer. The canal was round the corner ready to be walked, bit by bit, in order to stave off what often became long and unfulfilling days of unemployment. He was clever, but sort of nervous, unsure of himself- except that he laughed like a Walrus with a cold. As she turned he saw her tears, her frustration and rather than comforting her by recognising her negativity- he spoke of other things- the weather, the canals, the absurdity of the business of the previous train. He was understanding and extended a warm hand of friendship to a stranger in need; waiting with her until the next train whizzed through the train station of this sleepy English town.

Trio member three: Martin. As a young man surrounded by at least twenty friends at a time he had always imagined that the old chap sitting reading the paper was a sad case. Today he felt like that man. His divorce had just gone through and he had just moved back in with his father after 30 odd years of marriage. It was over and he didn’t know what to do, who to turn to; so he turned to the newspapers at a pub far away from his father’s house. It was on the train station where he saw her; playfully dancing on the platform with a friend. Cheeky and graceful; in his eyes the picture of youth, a ballerina. Their eyes met from afar and he was flustered, embarrassed, very careful to show that he did not want to impose or but into anything where he was not welcome. As her friend walked off she came over and stood right next to him, the train slowly pulling out of the station. She looked him directly in the eye and beamed. She was standing with a youngish man in the carriage, he looked awkward, they must have been together he thought. She was like a seamstress, sewing together threads of these three different lives together for one train journey, what became a trip to London.

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