That Voice Again' by Peter Domican
This train is for Kings Cross. The next station is Potters Bar.
Anna rested her head upon Dave's shoulder as the train pulled into the station. The platform looked busy for a Saturday morning, more like rush hour.
The doors opened and the people streamed on board.
'There's seats over there.'
Dave winced. No doubt who it was. He hoped she'd sit somewhere else. Some hope.
This train is for Kings Cross calling at Finsbury Park and Kings Cross only
'Hello Dave. Fancy seeing you here. Hi Anna.'
Dave felt Anna's grip tighten on his hand and her fingernails sink into the top of his palm. Anna said nothing but now sat bolt upright. The two women glared at each other. Dave expected to see a layer of frost form on the carriage window.
'Oh, this is Steve, by the way,' said Sadie.
Dave thought about shaking hands but then thought better of it and nodded at him. Steve nodded back. He knew who Dave was and was determined to keep out of the conversation if at all possible.
'So how have you been, Dave? Haven't seen you for ages.'
'Yeah, I've...we've moved' said Dave.
'We're engaged.' Anna unclasped her fingers from his, held her hand out, wiggling her fingers and smiling without baring her teeth.
'Oh congratulations, how lovely. Steve and I were thinking of moving in together, weren't we Steve?'
Steve nodded. Poor sod, thought Dave. At first it had been great until he and Sadie moved in together. He'd soon found out that Sadie couldn't do anything without starting an argument. Dave sometimes wondered if Sadie could argue with her own shadow. Still Steve looked a patient man. He'd need to be.
This train is for Kings Cross. The next station is Finsbury Park.
'I expect you need to get off here, Dave. I know you have that thing of not wanting to look at the Emirates.'
'He's fine, chirped Anna 'and besides we need to go to Kings Cross anyway, remember?
Dave stared at Anna. What the hell was she playing at? Of course, he wanted to get off here and why did they need to go to Kings Cross? Anna stared back defying him to argue. 'Yeah, 'course I remember.'
This train is for Kings Cross. The next station is Kings Cross where this train will terminate.
The group settled into an uncomfortable silence. Dave stared out of the window and glared at the stadium as it approached. He hated Arsenal but he knew Anna hated Sadie more so he kept quiet. He looked back towards Sadie and then back to Anna. He knew this would ruin the day. Anna would be monosyllabic most of the day and there'd be an argument on the way home over something trivial.
This is Kings Cross where this train terminates. Please remember to take all your belongs with you when you leave the train.
No choice, thought Dave. No choice.