The 7.21 to Waterloo has left the station

When I was a commuter I was cheered in the mornings with a little ticket window banter from the sweet man at the train station, taking my fare. We’d talk about my job, his job, my impending redundancy, his looming retirement. A couple of times I took him one of my buns for his elevenses. I knew his last day fell on a Saturday so myself, husband and two kids dropped by to wish him well. He’d served my husband, and they’d also had polite banter in the mornings but he hadn’t made the connection, that the man on the 8.51 lived with the woman on the 7.21. He seemed really touched that we’d remembered he was leaving and with our small token.

I worked another couple of months before taking redundancy and mornings weren’t the same with Chris gone.

Once since, I bumped into him walking his dog. He misses his commuters, enquired after my job prospects and even offered to write me a reference ‘ You made your train in plenty of time and were always so polite to me’.

I got a text from DH today that made me smile. He’d bumped into Chris. He’d called him Dave (not his name) and asked after Anne (not my name) and says he saw us on the bus the other day with our two girls (we have a boy and a girl). Though he remembered that I travelled to Vauxhall.


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