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Tina walked into the empty room.

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Tina walked into the empty room, the train ticket held firmly in her hand. As she sat down on one of the brown, spongy chairs in the far corner she looked indecisively at the piece of card in her hand. It was amazing to think this little 10cm by 5cm printed ticket could change her life. It could either take her back home to Bristol, and her parents, or it could take her to London, back to her boyfriend Nicky and her drug addiction. Coming off the drugs had not been easy, but after she had been in hospital for three weeks she knew it was time for something to be done. She had gone to the train station and bought a ticket that would take her to either end of the line. Bristol or London. Parents or Nicky. Hassle or freedom. Comfort or slums. It was so hard to choose. She heard the whining creak of the door as it opened and someone stumbled in. He looked like a commuter, with that fatigued look that said he had been squashed on a train for hours and was dying to get home to his devoted wife and 2.4 children. He caught her staring at him and she blushed and looked away. She looked at the conventional clock on the aged wall, once magnolia, now a delicate shade of grey, and saw that it was only just past five. ...read more.


Hearing the harsh blows of abuse come pounding out of the elderly lady's mouth brought her back to her own home in Bristol, with her mother shouting at her all the time, the world Nicky had saved her from, and she was seriously considering going back to all this? But then she thought of the life she had had in London. The violence and the fear. Why did she have to make this decision? Tina could hear the voices of the two women on the opposite side of the room. They were arguing about something but Tina was not really listening. She looked at the baby and he smiled at her. Wow, she thought, that's the first person to smile at me all day. She smiled back and gave the baby a little wave. He was wearing a blue baby grow with green and yellow trucks and cars on. Over that he was wearing a navy coat, and black shoes, and he was holding a navy hat in his lap. His green eyes were wide, and contrasted vividly with the shock of bright red hair that sprouted out of the top of his head at all angles. His delicate skin was a pale creamy white colour, with a pinker look on his cheeks, after the biting cold of outside. Tina looked round the room, taking in the peeling paint on the walls and the neon light strips. ...read more.


She watched them get onto the train that had just pulled up and waved goodbye to the baby. When they had gone, she heard a shout. Just as she thought she was going to get some peace, a group of teenagers came blundering up the platform, holding cigarettes and bottles of vodka in their hands. Please, please don't come into the waiting room, she prayed. It wasn't that she went looking for trouble, but trouble seemed to find her. If she was alone somewhere, and a gang of people came up, they were almost sure to start on her. It was something to do with her looks. She had black dreadlocks, wore heavy kohl eyeliner round her almost black eyes, and had her lip, nose, tongue, and ears pierced, several times, and wore baggy jeans and hoodies all the time. Luckily, the gang walked past and Tina breathed a sigh of relief. She heard a distant rumbling sound, and looked out of the window just in time to see the silver and blue train shoot out of the tunnel like a bullet. It slowed to a halt and she picked up her rucksack. As she went out onto the platform she ran the decision through her head one more time and firmly made up her mind. With a hand on the rail, she swung herself onto the train. She sat in the seat with a smile playing on her lips. Tina knew she had made the right decision. Jennie Bain 10DE ...read more.

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