Short Story Preview: York Express – Josie Arden
Gasping, Lisa plonked her case onto the reserved seat. She had run the length of Station Road, sure the train would leave without her but…she had caught it!
‘May I lift that up for you?’
The man on the opposite side of her table had already stood up and was reaching for her case before she could reply.
‘Why…er…thank you,’ she faltered and could only watch as, competently, he stowed her luggage above their heads.
‘You only just made it,’ he grinned, for the train was already moving.
‘I know,’ she laughed breathlessly, ‘It’s not the first time I’ve had to run for it. I know the train only stops for three minutes at York Station, but I never learn.’
‘You don’t live in York then?’
‘Oh no. I’m a Londoner. I’ve just been visiting my grandmother but she always keeps me chatting till the last moment. I hate leaving her because she lives alone, you see…’
Lisa paused, aware of ‘running on a bit’. ‘And you?’
‘My home is in Bournemouth but my new job in London takes me all around England so I moved to be more central.’
He turned to a small computer open on the table between them, then clearly changing his mind, shut it abruptly.
‘Please don’t let me stop you working,’ said Lisa, embarrassed.
‘It can wait. It’s nothing important,’ he said pleasantly.
‘Your first visit to York, is it?’ asked Lisa, taking in the broad forehead, kind eyes and immaculate suit and haircut. Those long, strong hands lightly caressing the computer were the most wonderful she had ever seen. Men in her family had short, pudgy hands.
‘My fourth now. I service retail outlets for the Flavoreet Chocolate Company. I generally come up late evening and back next day about this time.’
‘How rough, making you travel in your own time!’