England is quite a chaotic country at the moment. The weather is hot and there is smoke in the air from wildfires in the countryside. There’s also inflation and people are worried about their financial future. Prices are going through the roof and energy bills are off the charts. Add to that a train strike and you can see the average Brit is not in a happy emotional place.
Nevertheless there I was in the south of England where, after performing a wedding, I was struggling to get to Edinburgh to visit my daughter. She’ll soon be having a baby. So the need to get on a train was urgent.
Of course, my train had been cancelled because of the strike and it was every traveller for themselves. My cancelled ticket had been replaced by a general ticket which meant I could jump on a train, any train and make my way to my destination.
So there I was on a crowded station waiting for a train, which I hoped wouldn’t be too crowded. The journey would take over eight hours so I was hoping I would be able to get a seat and not stand all the way.
Trains came, people piled on and off they went. People waiting were patient but highly vigilant too.
In order to ensure I got on a train, I got to the station early and had over an hour or more to wait. I was glad I did that because it was really the quick and the dead!
It’s really a long way of saying I was sitting on a seat in a crowded station highly anxious about getting to Edinburgh along with hundreds of other people equally highly anxious to get to their destination. Not a really pleasant experience.
A chance meeting
Anyway, I was sitting on the seat and a young girl sat next to me. She had her brother with her and he sat next to her. I didn’t really notice too much because I was watching for the trains and trying to stay cool.
It gradually came to my attention that this young girl was very upset. She was talking and talking to her brother. There were tears and outbursts of anger. The brother was just being brotherly, sitting there listening. I could see from his face that he really wished he was somewhere else.
This young girl was really upset because she had been two-timed by her boyfriend, big time! He had really done her wrong.
Sitting next to her on the seat I could not but overhear, no matter how much I didn’t want to. It was all coming out and for the next hour it came out and out and out. I just sat there staring at the rails and looking for the trains.
What to do? I didn’t want to give up my seat because I couldn’t see anywhere else comfortable to be. So I just sat there uncomfortably listening and trying to exist In my own bubble.
Don’t give up on love
As I said, she went on and on and on, the tears the rage the despair. Eventually her train turned up. Her brother lead the way to the carriage. As she got up to follow him our eyes met and I looked right into her tears.
I had to say something, I just had to! “Sweetheart”, I said. “This will make you a better person, believe me”.
“Thank you”, she said, “thank you”. For a moment her face relaxed. We just stared into each other‘s eyes.
“Don’t give up on love”, I said as kindly as I could.
“No I won’t”, she said “and thank you for talking”.
In a second she was on the train heading to God knows where. I had to wait another hour for my train but I didn’t mind it because I felt I’d done something worthwhile. Don’t give up on love was my advice.
Life is like that, isn’t it.