She watches as he walks away from her. His stride is confident, almost exuberant. Half way across the park he turns back to see her still sitting in her car, still in the train station car park. He smiles happily, shaking his head and waving to her.
Her own face lights up in a broad grin in return and she waves back at him before he turns back around and continues on his way. Soon the slope and trees obscure her view but her head turns as she imagines where he would be up to.
Once or twice she thinks that she catches a glimpse of his jacket or his pants leg but she doesn’t know whether she really has or if it is just wishful thinking.
She lowers her window and lights a cigarette. Her thoughts are awash with image after image. Her emotions ebb and flow, sometimes leading her thoughts, sometimes following them. She doesn’t try to understand or follow her own track of thought but instead is swept along like a raft down a river.
Eventually she notices that her cigarette has burnt down to the butt and she doesn’t know how long she has been sitting like that. She puts the butt in the ash tray and starts the car. The radio tells her that it isn’t late, but she knows what will be coming, and that delaying any further will only make her more anxious.
Time to go.
Time to go forward.
She pulls out of the car park and begins to wind her way through the clutter of back streets that led to the motorway. The traffic is stop–start. She can’t control the other cars or the way they dive between the lanes, making her slam on the brakes. The way they run red lights or speed past her, putting her safety as risk.
She feels her good mood slipping from her grasp, like summer rain evaporating, as she compares her own life to the traffic. She becomes anxious and frustrated with the other cars, wishing she could just drive through them, around them, ignore the rules the way that they do. But mostly she just wishes that she was not there. That she was anywhere else so that she just didn’t have to deal with the situation, didn’t even have to acknowledge its’ existence.
She stops at the next red light and know that she is only a left and right turn and she will be on the motorway. She looks to her left and can see the six lanes off in the distance and slightly lower, sitting beneath her on ramp. Her next breath is longer and deeper. She begins to relax, the tension in her shoulders and neck slowly releasing.
The lights change, she turns the corner and her smile returns as she puts the indicator on for the right hand turn.
“Luck’s changing already