Strangers on a Train

What a novel idea!

Have you ever had that experience where you’ve made an unexpected friend on a journey, because of a series of events or small decisions?

That’s what happened to me yesterday, so I wanted to share it with you all.

LeedsI’d made a journey from my home to Leeds, by train, to find out if I still had a job. The meeting was scheduled to last three hours, and my colleague and I decided that we’d get an earlier train back to London if it finished any earlier. It did.

We jumped in a cab back to Leeds train station, dove into Marks and Spencer to pick up a couple of Gin and Tonics – in a can, needs must – before getting on an earlier train, where we didn’t have reserved seats. We found two empty seats at a table, and there was one other occupant, already in situ, and we asked the usual “Are these seats taken?”

The young woman shook her head no, and our first exchange was brief, and was regarding the broken air conditioning on the train. This wouldn’t normally be a problem but you’ve probably heard about our little heatwave over here in England – nothing compared to the temperatures in America and other warm climes, but for us, it’s skorchio!

As our 2 hour something journey progressed, in addition to the warmth in the non-air conditioned carriage and double-measure G&Ts, I found myself drawn to the young woman, whom I shall name K.S. aka Kindred Spirit.

Born on the American East Coast, K.S. had met and fell in love with an Englishman through a mutual hobby, and their relationship developed, until the virtual became a reality and they became engaged on his second visit to see her.

K.S. was like the perfect romance novel heroine inspiration in mind and soul. She listened to my colleague and I discussing our woes about having to reapply for our jobs. She shared her romantic history and her very emotional and harrowing journey to becoming her ultimate goal, an English citizen.

K.S. talked of her spiritual journeys and we swapped stories of loved ones lost and how families can let you down and hold you up. We compared star signs – Gemini & Gemini – and our different experiences in bringing up children, biological and non-biological.

Our conversation rode up hill and down dale, galloping at times, and then slowing to a thoughtful meander. K.S. kept up with my mercurial thought process – oh, shiny! – and made me laugh, reminisce, and reflect forward.

The two hour something journey flashed by, and I told her how much I had enjoyed the time we spent. We exchanged Instagram names – mine is empty and hers is so full. I admire people who are different and yet so familiar, who are new, but feel connected.

Since a young age, I am awestruck by the talent of others, and still get a little fan-girly to this day. I empathize with people who have struggled, been hurt and mistreated, and yet still move forward towards a future they always wanted.

K.S. has my awe, my admiration and my friendship – there for the taking, should you ever need it. I expected our journey to end there, tied up in a neat little train ride, but imagine my surprise, my pleasure, when she asked if she could tag along with me across London on the Tube, as we were both getting onward connections to the South Coast.

My pleasure – I said. And that’s what it was.

Three something hours of my life, on what could have been a fairly downward day, gone in a flash, but made a little brighter by a stranger on a train.

I aspire to write such well-rounded and inspirational heroine’s like K.S. and I hope one day I’ll brighten – even if only for three something hours – the life of a stranger on a train.

Take care, Tx

About tashatayls

Hello. Writer, People Watcher, Rather Good Friend & Person Most Likely to Laugh Inappropriately Loudly. @tashatayls.
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3 Responses to Strangers on a Train

  1. Beth Carter says:

    How delightful! I loved reading this and adore meeting people I feel an instant connection with. It doesn’t happen often but how wonderful when it does!

    P.S. I know four people from the UK and they all love G&Ts! So funny. Is it the UK’s signature drink?! 😉

  2. viola62 says:

    I agree that sometimes strangers can provide great inspiration. One of my favorite things to do when I write is go to a local coffee shop or breakfast restaurant and study the people around me. Is that older man her grandfather or a wealthy, older lover? Are that mother and daughter having a conversation about the daughter’s recent breakup? Are those co-eds discussing their boyfriends? They can easily find a place in my books.

  3. sueberger3 says:

    Time and Forever is based on an incident that really happened to me. I once kissed a stranger on the subway in New York. Many years later I wondered what would have happened if I had exchanged names with him instead of leaving it as a magical moment. Out of that my novel my novel was born. I moved the incident to London and time traveled the heroine back to 1969.

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