Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Ger leans back into the seat and stretches his long legs out before him. He should be feeling joyful, but his smiles cracks off his face like old plaster.

Nobody came to wave him off. Mum and Dad are too busy in the caff, chewing over Chelsee’s news. Don’t tell, she’d said. Of course he told. Chelsee must have known that he would. Intended that he should.

With a slick hum the train moves off. The whinging child at the other end of the carriage runs up the carriage, hollering. Cadell. It would be. Spoiled brat. Ger glares at him. Cadell’s face falls and he retreats.

The train gathers speed and the images flick past, beginning to dizzy him. He shuts his eyes but older images flick past, burned onto his retinas. Mum and Dad aghast. Mum pragmatic after the initial shock, Dad… Dad just weird about it.

Ger’s eyes snap open, and the world speeds past. Sickness tugs his guts. He swaps seats and now he is looking back. But that is worse.

The train slows, stops at the next station. Rachel, Tanya and Cadell get off the train in a tangle of pushchair and bags. Ger knows he should have helped, should have been a gentleman. But if he’d stood up he would have got off too, and taken the next train home.

Linda Gruchy

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