Always Find A Way

Sometimes Love is so strong that it will cross any boundary; distance, race or social divide. Sometime Love is so unique that it will find ways to survive even when in the greatest peril.

Sometimes Love will conquer death.

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13. Trains

Present Day

 

Jill's eyes closed and shot open before closing again in the way that they do when someone is exhausted. The train jilted and rumbled along, the movements only adding to Jill's extreme tiredness. As the train left Wales it grew darker and darker as the clouds overhead threatened a storm. The carriage was warm and only half full, mostly of people in suits and one small family with a child of around five. He was sitting nicely and playing quietly with some toy soldiers. Before Jill had given in to sleep she had admired his good behaviour. She was not in the mood to tolerate screaming children at the moment.

A young man came along pushing a cart filled with sandwiches, crisps, chocolate bars and drinks. Jill's eyes opened long enough for her purchase something to eat before she fell back into the darkness. 

 

The storm broke halfway into her seven hour journey and the first clap of thunder woke Jill up with a start. She straightened herself in her seat and self consciously wiped her mouth in case she had been dribbling unawares. 

The boy a few seats down looked up and smiled at her and she felt her lips twitch in response. Fully awake now she busied herself with unwrapping her chocolate bar and unpacking her laptop from its case. The onboard WiFi was put to good use as she researched psychologists in the London area specialising in...

In what? Hallucinations? No. Trauma? No. Lucid dreaming? No.

Fuck knows.

She sank back irritably in her seat and stretched her legs out. What was wrong with her? How could she define her problem? She tapped idly on the table as she stared into space until she felt a small hand touch her arm. She started and looked down. The small boy was looking up at her shyly. 

'Sorry, Mrs. But  you have a...' He indicated to his lip with his small, pudgy finger. It took Jill a couple of seconds before she understood.

'Oh!' She hastily wiped her mouth and felt the crumb of chocolate he had shown her dislodge and fall away. 'Thank you, little man.'

The boy grinned widely. 'My name is Roger.'

'Is it?' Jill laughed. 'What a very grown up name you have!'

'Roger?'

'Here, Mam!'

'Oh. Sorry.' She addressed Jill. 'He's so friendly... Sometimes he can annoy people.'

'Oh no,' Jill said generously, 'it's fine. In fact...' She picked up one of the crisps bags and handed it to the boy. He moved back behind his mother's legs and didn't take it.

'Oh. Isn't he allowed?'

'Don't be rude, Roger, say thank you to the lady.'

'Thank you. But I can't eat them. I have allergies.'

'Ah. I'm so sorry.'

'It's ok.' His mother said. 'It's a gluten allergy. He can't really eat anything.' She sighed sadly but smiled at her little boy, who grinned back happily.

'Well. We best be off. Thank you for the thought.' She smiled at Jill and guided her boy back to his seat. 

Jill smiled at their retreating backs and glanced back at her laptop screen. "Mental Health Professionals In Your Area" was the search proudly displayed on Google. She brought her hand up and rubbed her eyebrow thoughtfully. That can't have looked good to the mother, and yet she hadn't judged her on it. She had let her little boy talk to her. Jill wondered at the difference in people. Some women would have shrieked and pulled their children away at seeing something like that. 

Jill clicked off the extreme mental health issues sites and told herself firmly to stop being such a drama queen. Anorexia and schizophrenia. Two things she had diagnosed herself with in the past twelve hours because she was feeling unlike her usual self. 

'Get a grip, woman.' She muttered. 

She booked an hours session with a normal, run-of-the-mill shrink for the next day. the only thing this one specialised in was that she was experienced in seeing other psychologists. Jill thought she would allow herself that luxury. 

 

The train pulled into London with no delays at it's expected arrival time. Her dad, the only person she had told about her sudden return, met her on the platform. He pulled her into a hug and took her bags. 

'Good to have you back Tabs.' His bearded face breaking into a warm and genuine smile. 'Good to see you again my little Tabby cat.'

'Yeah... Glad to be back dad.' But somewhere from deep inside her, where those memories of bloodstained men and smoky rooms were kept, rose the all too familiar feeling of heartache. She looked around the station, at the hustle and bustle, at the dreary men in the dreary suits, at the homeless beggars and at the screaming children and felt bile rise in her throat.

'Tabs? Are you ok?' 

A strong hand gripped her arm.

'I'm fine dad... Just please, let's get the hell out of here.'

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