Thursday 12 April 2018

Moving On

Mari Philllips



Jaq stuffed the final items into her overnight bag and snapped it shut. She normally found packing straightforward but this time she wasn’t sure what to take. “May be just one or two personal items,” she muttered to herself.

She sniffed back a few tears as she cast a final glance over the flat. Sunshine flooded through the windows suspending a rainbow of dust in the air. She replayed the days spent choosing furniture and curtains when they moved in, was it only eighteen months ago? The hours spent bickering good-naturedly about style: modern, Jo’s choice; colours: neutral, her’s, before celebrating in the trendy wine bar up the road. Jaq made promises, and Jo had expectations; loyalty, honesty and commitment.

She fingered the envelope on the marble mantelpiece and carefully straightened it. She had struggled to write the letter, but she ended up with the same old clichés. “Dear Jo, hope you can forgive me…can't go on like this…you want…I need…it's me not you…all my love…”

The door shut with a thud as she stepped on to the pavement and into the waiting minicab. New life, she thought but “St Pancras please” came from her lips. The driver, a chatty, cockney type, filled the 20 minute journey with the usual stream of consciousness: weather, traffic, ungrateful punters. She pasted on a smile and heard herself reply, but focused her gaze on the passing traffic and attempted to ignore his conversation. Time to move on…again.

Outside the station she took a moment to look at the red Gothic building, before heading for the Eurostar platform. She tried to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach. Time for a glass of champagne before the train, she thought. As the biscuity bubbles caught the back of her nose she changed her mind, the train to Heathrow might be better. She lingered over her drink then retraced her steps to the concourse and headed for the Piccadilly line. She envied all the people with places to go as she slipped anonymously into the middle of the crowd.

The platform was four people deep but she didn't push. She let a couple of trains come and go, disgorging their passengers to make room for others, and walked towards the tunnel where the trains emerged from the blackness. She checked the board, one minute for Terminal Five. That would do nicely. As the train approached she clutched her bag, locked her eyes on to the train driver and stepped off the platform. She had moved on!

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