Ann doesn’t look at him — not yet.
With her back against the wall, her fingertips pressed against cool brick, she gazes at the space between her feet. Each breath catches on the musk of the station. He’s a London Midland, British Rail Class 350 Desiro, and he thrums with a clean mechanical roar. The cables above prickle with electricity, making a high-pitched whipping sound.
She sits on the bench facing the tracks. He has a smell all his own — diesel, steel, electric — but different to the other engines. She arranges her dress across her knees. Closing her eyes, she moves a hand beneath her jacket and holds her breath.
He moves, shunting forwards with an electric whir — so much power required to move so much bulk. The bench vibrates. Her calves tighten, feet on tip toe, legs trembling. She opens her eyes, clenches her thighs around a hand, pushes herself back into the bench. Green and yellow and silver — he glides out of the station and into the bright O.
A warm breeze moves along the platform, blowing a crisp packet and a rattling Coke can onto the tracks.
Making her way out of New Street Station, towards the office, she sends David a text message saying they need to talk.
Maybe tomorrow she’ll ride inside his carriages. After all this time, maybe tomorrow will be the day.
She looks at her watch. There’s still time to buy a new dress.
By Adam Lock