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The moment I left her behind

July 30, 2007

It was a gorgeous sunny morning at Hither Green station this morning. They’re always best, especially on Monday mornings. Sunshine+Monday mornings get the week off to a good start.

I only realised I had left the credit card I normally use at home when I tried to use the automated ticket machine. I tried and failed to use a different one the lady standing behind me voiced her impatience.

There were a good five minutes before the train both of us were intending on catching actually arrived but when I failed with my alternative credit card it was clear the lady was concerned she wasn’t going to make what was she obviously considered was her own personal train to London.

“Can I please get my ticket,” she barked, “My train is going to arrive soon.”

Pick your battles Jon, I thought to myself. It’s Monday morning and the sun is out.

Standing aside, I watched the lady dressed in her safe black city suit with contrasting white pumps negotiate the ticket machine. I listened as she huffed and puffed, navigating her way around the intuitive yet clearly challenging touch-screen display.

She glanced up at me momentarily when she finally grabbed her tickets seeing, no doubt, a charming young man in his mid-thirties being all grown up and calm, his hands on his hips, his lips pursed bedecked in black shut-out-the-world shades.

A minute later, my seven day season ticket in my back pocket, I descended the step to the station platform gleefully aware that the lady who had insisted on upgrading her position in the ticket purchasing queue was now watching in horror as I approached her. I smiled a long, charming smile and slowed my pace down considerably. There was still time, I thought to myself. Our train to London wasn’t even on the horizon yet.

A guilty look spread across her face like oil on water. Tempting though it was, I resisted the temptation to say anything out loud.

Mind you, no reason not to say anything here along the lines of … Thoroughly Good things really do come to those who wait. *

* Even a short while.

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