It's been a while since I've written anything. So this is my attempt to get back into it. Comments and feedback most welcome! Enjoy :)
He woke to the sound of the whistle with a start. Groggily, he turned his head, looking out the window of his car as the train entered King’s Cross station. With a sigh of relief, he leaned back in his seat, a small smile creeping over his lips.
I’m home. I’m safe. I made it.
He opened his eyes, looking at his bags across from him. As the train screeched to a halt, he stood and gathered them. The aisle was crowded as various passengers began their descent. He was usually a patient man, but he’d longed for home for what felt like an eternity, and couldn’t wait to set foot on familiar ground.
“Excuse me,” He spoke in a softened voice to a man standing beside him. There wasn’t much room in the car, but once the man noticed who he was, he gladly attempted to step aside. More people began to notice, and they too moved aside. Soon enough, he had a clear path. “Thank you.” He said, smiling as he passed the rows of people.
“No, thank you.” Another man spoke, offering him a handshake.
“Bless you, boy.” An older woman spoke, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief.
Soon enough, the car erupted in polite applause. He moved on, not so sure he wanted all the attention. He focused instead on his destination. Somewhere in the crowded station someone was waiting to take him home. He was glad when he stepped off the train and became almost invisible. Everyone he passed was too busy looking for their loved ones, and he was thankful for their ignorance. He scanned the crowd, looking for anyone familiar, of course it had been a few years since he’d last seen anyone from home.
As he wandered, he noticed a small child standing by a pillar, with her finger in her mouth and tears glistening on her rosy cheeks. He didn’t see anyone with her, so he stepped closer. “Where’s your mummy, darling?”
The little girl shook her head at him, indicating she didn’t know. He reached out to her, “Shall I help you find her?” The child grabbed his finger with her hand, and walked up to him. “Right then.” He smiled, looking down at her. They began walking through the crowd, passing many women who just looked over them.
“Lizzie!” A shrill voice echoed among the roaring chatter. The man stopped and turned in the direction of the voice. An older woman was hurrying towards them.
“Nana!” The little girl shrieked, taking her finger out of her mouth.
The woman finally reached them. The little girl let go of the man’s finger and awkwardly ran to the woman as she bent down. “There you are sweetheart! I thought I’d lost you.” She looked up at the man. “I’m terribly sorry, she must have wandered off when I wasn’t looking. Thank you for looking out for her. I’m so grateful.”
“No worries, ma’am. I’m just glad she’s safe.” The man smiled down at them. The woman gave him a final smile and farewell as the two headed back towards the front of the train.
The man turned the opposite direction, and saw a familiar face full of soft freckles, startling blue green eyes and a sunny complexion. His brother. “Edward!” He shouted back in response, breaking through the mass of people.
“Still the hero, I see?” Edward teased, throwing his arms around his brother.
“You know it.” William replied, reaching down to get his bags he’d carelessly flung aside.
“Let me.” Edward offered.
William smiled. “Thanks.”
“I must say, I’m glad you’re back. Safe, sound and in one piece.” Edward smiled as the two walked out of the station.
“Me too.” William sighed, removing his military cap. When they reached the car, William was surprised Edward was driving. “You didn’t send the valet?”
Edward laughed. “Send the valet to get my brother who just got back from the war?!” He asked, incredulous that William would even suggest such a thing. “Of course not! I suppose it’s quite selfish of me to want to see you first.”
William chuckled. “Only just a bit.” He answered as they drove through the city. They chatted the whole ride home, and William’s heart leapt with joy as they entered the stone path leading to the estate.
“William,” Edward began, looking over his shoulder at his brother. “Before you get too settled, there’s someone I’d like you to meet first.”
“Sure.” William answered. “Who?”
Edward smiled. “You’ll just have to see.”
They approached the grand estate, standing like a majestic castle amongst vast pastures surrounded on the outmost edge by a forest where the two men had played as boys. The staff stood outside, eagerly awaiting their arrival. As the car came to a slow stop, William noticed another figure had joined them. A young woman, perhaps a year younger than him, stood at the end of the line. She was beautiful, with ivory skin, soft brown eyes and her brown locks tucked nicely into a hat matching her smokey blue dress.
“Who’s that?” William whispered to Edward as they walked towards the up.
“William, I’d like to introduce you to Margaret Kingston.” Edward said, gesturing to the beautiful woman. “My fiance.”
William was surprised. When he’d left for the war, Edward was set to marry another. He watched as the woman gave a small curtsey. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, my lord.”
“Hello, Margaret.” He smiled, reaching out to help her rise from her bow.
“Please,” She spoke softly, a small smile on her delicate lips. “Call me Maggie.”