7.28

There’s this kid on the train in the mornings, always there, on the 7.28 from Simla Crescent. Maybe he’s a bit on the aspergers side of life, but he’s ok. A Scot’s boy, always polite, always there to offer a standing adult a seat, his loud monotone booming ‘would you like a seat, sir?’. (No one ever does.) Today, as the ticket collector approached, he started fumbling for his ticket, sure it was in the breast pocket of his red blazer. But no, no ticket. Forgotten, left at home in the rush. But he’s always on this train, and always has a ticket. Everyone knows that, even the ticket man who passed without bothering to ask for the ticket. He’s honest this kid, and wasn’t going to ride without a ticket, so he called the conductor back and paid, hauling his wallet from his trouser pocket and shelling out the change. The ticket man was bemused, but took the money; other passengers were bemused; we all looked away knowing we wouldn’t have done the same.