London, mid-March, and it's raining again. Lucy, a businesswoman, misses the train home, leaving her stranded for an hour on the platform of Waterloo. The people she will meet shall change her forever...
The train pulled away as I reached the top of the concrete steps, snaking out of Waterloo Station. It was eight pm, a Friday in March, and I was stranded. For an hour, anyway.
Sixty whole minutes of waiting. Three thousand six hundred long, painful seconds left before I could finally relax, try to forget the stresses of my life for two blissful days. I leant against the cool metal banister, panting for my breath. The conductor shot me a look, and his mouth turned up at the corners momentarily. I could tell that he waited for people like me; exhausted business people who'd worked their butts off all day only to miss their train. It made him laugh. I turned away.
My hair was straggly and wet from the lashing rain outside. I began to sweep it back as best I could, combing it with my blood-red, manicured nails. I reapplied my Chanel lipstick slowly and dabbed powder on my shiny nose and chin, in a feeble attempt to look busy. This was embarrassing; everyone had seen my epic sprint in three-inch heels and now they were laughing at me. Well, not visibly laughing, but I could tell by their faked, sympathetic gazes.
Casting around the all but deserted station, I spotted a green bench, molded into what I guessed was supposed to be the natural human form. Sighing, I hobbled over on my blistered feet to sit down.
It was going to be a long hour.