Tallie has always been normal. Just a girl at school living with her mum.
But that's all changing now.
After her mother was murdered, and the murderer never charged, she took matters of law into her own young hands. But it all went wrong. She's got to escape before everyone realises the crime she's commited. Living in a hut on a deserted moorland is her only option. Until David arrives.
He can help her; he's a police man, the only one on her side. Soon Tallie is deeply in love with David, but is he all he says to be? Or is he in fact the very man she is running from?


8. A second journey

I am straight on the train, just a few people behind him. Straining my neck, I see him turn into the E carriage, so I turn into the D carriage. I am going to go right up to the A one though; there is no margin for error here. I choose a spot in carriage A in which most people have chosen to sit, because it will camouflage me better.

When I plonk down onto the seat, I think I probably deafen the others around me with my fatigued sigh. I hope Jeffers didn't hear it.

It takes us a couple of boring hours to reach Kendal, but at least we make it. As I step off the train, I look back at the carriage Jeffers was in. He is staring right back at me.

I stumble. My hands flip my hood up, so as to cover my face, but I know that Jeffers recognised me. He does not get off though, so that is a good omen. I stride at a pace towards the barriers. Slamming the ticket into the slot, I almost fall over as the rubber-edged gates open. Dashing on through, I see the exit and make a break for it.

The fresh air shocks me, but I can see the bus station in sight. My legs are slightly unused to running full pelt like this, but they manage to keep up with the adrenaline coursing through me.

I wave at the driver to stop, and he gives me a nod and turns off the engines. Still sprinting, I crumple into the doorway of the bus and splurt out:

"A single ticket to..." I puff out a breath "...Cockermouth" And I can't say anymore. I just snatch up the ticket and sit down with a mighty force. It feels so good to be away.

An old man on the bus waves at me. I realise that it is the old man from the train.

"To think I said that you weren't gannin' far like!" He chuckles amiably to himself, "And now I'm on the same bus as yous!" His eyes crinkle up, but it looks sweet.

"Well, you never know how something will turn out, do you?" I say politely.

"Eee, nor I don't mate, but I'll tell ya what, yous is a brave young soul like, a very brave soul. Gannin' oot at your age. All the way to Cockermooth!" He had to be a Geordie, judging by the terms he used.

"I am seventeen!" I protest.

"Eee, I knor, but yous is still young to me! I'm seven'y two!" He looked at me again, his glasses sliding down his nose. I remember his book he was reading on the train.

"Have you finished your book yet?" I ask in what I hope is a pleasant tone.

"Well you knor, I did actually!" He pronounced it 'nor' instead of 'no' or 'know'. To be honest, I am surprised that he has, seeing as he had had it upside down on the train.

"Good." I say, and somehow, we both know that there isn't anything else to say.

The bus pulls up into Cockermouth Main Street Cleeland bus stop, and I hop off. The elderly man gives me a wave and he's gone, the bus whooshing him away. It's a shame; he was a nice dude. Well, I wouldn't exactly call him a dude, but he is pretty cool.

Many oldies you meet these days are a bit off with younger folk, especially my next-door neighbour. Except, she isn't my next-door neighbour anymore. No-one is.


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