The station

The following dream of Celi, a fifteen-year-old girl, is an extract from my latest novel code-named Story Five.

Celi stood at the foot of the stairs leading up to the platform. She dearly wanted to stay but it was time to go. People milled noisily around her hurrying to catch a last train home or to meet a loved one about to arrive. She paid no heed to them. She stood alone, her back curved with old age, watching her new-found friends climb slowly away from her. Vata and Kit were amongst them, holding hands, whispering to each other as Vata laid her head on Kit’s shoulder. Celi longed to go with them, to bound up the steps with renewed energy and join the happy group, but she couldn’t let that be. Her destination was elsewhere. She could not undo what had been done. The weight of so many years tugged at her, holding her back. They had all spent a last carefree evening together, joking and laughing, but now their time together was over. They might never see each other again. She hadn’t realised how much she relished being with them, how much their joy and youthfulness filled her with wellbeing. Would knowing have made any difference? Probably not. She felt utterly bereft. A sea of sadness well up in her, threatening to drown her completely. She turned aside to save herself from being washed away and trudged painfully in search of her own train. Tears overflowed and streamed down her cheeks as she laboured step by step up the stairs, aches in all her joints. She made it to the final step, but couldn’t go on. She turned and sat heavily on the cold stone stair, her head in her hands and wept.

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