'You really have no idea who it was you were sitting next to,' he said, still laughing at the expression on my face.  'Come on Patrick, let's get you sat down in first class where you belong.'  He motioned for Patrick to stand up but his son remained firmly in his chair.

'I'm not moving father,' he said stubbornly.

'Stop messing around, I know you don't want to be in here with all the riff-raff.  There is a spare seat for you, I've made sure of it.'

'I don't want it.  I'm sick of sponging off you.  I want to be my own man for a while and that includes buying my own train ticket, which unfortunately means sitting with 'all the riff-raff'.'  I didn't dare say anything as Patrick's face grew redder and redder as he struggled to understand what his son had just told him.

'Fine.  If you want to sit down here, you're welcome to.  Just don't come running back to me when you decide it's not quite up to standard.'  He stalked away down the carriage, his head held high.

'Sorry about that,' Patrick said, his voice still slightly cold.  'My father isn't the easiest person in the world to get on with.'

'That's alright,' I said.  'That's not your fault.'

'Yes but you shouldn't have had to experience that.  Maybe I should go sit somewhere else.'  He stood up to leave but I instinctively grabbed his forearm.

'Please don't go.  I admit your father isn't the nicest person I've ever met but that doesn't mean I don't want to get to know you.'  He looked at me skeptically.  'Please,' I said as sweetly as I could manage.  I could see one half of his brain fighting with the other half before he sat down.

'But if he comes back I'm leaving, I don't want to disturb you anymore than is necessary.'

'I wouldn't worry about disturbing me,' I laughed.  'I'm only reading a book.'  I turned and looked out the window at the fields rolling past.  'Look!  It's snowing!'  Patrick leaned over to look out of the window and see the tiny flecks of snow raining down from the heavens.

'So it is.  I didn't hear about them forecasting snow.'

'I don't think they did.  Not for this far south anyway.'  I stared out in wonderment at the falling white snow.  Maybe I would have a white Christmas this year.

The End

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