Some years ago I was at Paddington station, waiting for my mother, who was visiting for the weekend. Hanging around by the ticket barriers I became aware of a young girl nearby who was having a conversation on her mobile phone with her boyfriend amidst great sobbing. Being a naturally curious person and having nothing else to do, I listened.
It soon became clear that she had planned to spend the weekend with her boyfriend but had arrived late and missed her train. She’d asked if she could use her ticket to travel later and had been told that this wasn’t possible and she didn’t have the money to buy another ticket. Her distress was so overwhelming, her devastation at this turn of events so utter, that my heart went out to her.
I found myself wishing that I could help. If I’d had the money I’d have happily bought her a ticket, but unfortunately I had nothing. I was therefore forced to watch her trudge miserably home, her weekend utterly ruined.
I’ve thought of her many times since then, and wondered whether she found a way to get to wherever it was that her boyfriend lived. I find myself hoping that things worked out for her. Sometime I’d like another chance to help someone in similar circumstances.