James had become so engrossed in finishing off his essay that he’d missed his stop. With his noise cancelling headphones on, playing The Natural Sounds Of The World album, he hadn’t heard the station call out. Plus, his mind was fully set on the laptop screen before him and the crumpled paper notes scattered across the small table.
He hadn’t felt at all guilty about taking up a whole table and four seats on the train during morning rush hour as he had sneaked into first class and hardly anyone was in the carriage with him. Being the lazy and fun loving college student that he was, he had been out partying last night and thus not the all-nighter working on his essay that he should have done.
He was near completing the damn thing, when something caught his eye and he looked up at the window. Large snowflakes were splattering against the glass and with the dark grey sky the visibility outside had dropped. Frowning, James pulled off his headphones and looked at the announcement screen above the carriage door. The time was a little past nine and the next stations weren’t ones he recognised.
Panic hit him and scrambling up, he went to find someone. As he entered the next carriage, his hip hit the elbow of a business man reading a newspaper.
‘What train is this?’ James asked, breathlessly.
‘The one to Glasgow,’ the man replied.
‘Glasgow? Did it stop at Lancaster?’
‘Yes. We are at Lockerbie now, so you’ve missed it by a good few stops.’
‘Can I get off here and go back?’ James said desperately.
‘I don’t know, sorry,’ the man answered and turned back to his newspaper.
Growling, James hurried back and packed all his things away in his rucksack. As the train pulled into the station, he waited by the doors and got off. The station was tiny and worriedly he looked around for a ticket office and didn’t spot one. However, he did see a train table on the other side from him and Lancaster was listed as a stop.
He headed for the small bridge, crossed over and double checked the sign. Luckily, there was a train due in a few minutes. He lent against a wall, watching the snowfall and kicking himself until the train arrived.