Ten minutes later the plucky child seated next to me pats on my lap.
I pull my gaze with great difficulty away from the window to meet her blue eyes.
"Where are you going?" she says with a beaming smile.
"The airport." I say, returning a small smile and to my view of the beautiful English countryside that I was yet to explore. I see the girl ponder for a few minutes through the reflection in the glass before she reaches out again and taps my lap. I shift uncomfortably.
"Where are you gonna go from the airport," she giggles.
I think carefully before saying, "...Wherever I want."
She laughs louder until her cheeks are a scarlet blush and little dimples are visible. Suddenly the woman on the seat across stops snoring, opens both eyes and sits up in one single motion.
"Isla. What have I told you?" she scolds. The little girl's shoulders droop.
"I shouldn't speak with strangers."
"It's fine you know.." I interrupt.
"No it isn't!" says the woman, a little louder, "What if you were someone bad?"
I nod my head in defeat and shift to face the window again in a state of thought. I couldn't understand the rules. Just what was the point of not talking to strangers? Yes perhaps I could be a murderer, perhaps I could be a thief but there is a bigger chance I was me. Just a normal person looking for something more in life. For a change.