A fatality on the line had seriously delayed my morning commute to work. When I finally got to the office the receptionist told me a visitor had arrived and was waiting in the meeting room. I hadn’t been expecting anyone and was surprised on entering the room to find my mother sitting across the oval table. She looked exactly as I remembered her that final time we were together, except that her hair was disheveled as though she’d been in a high wind. Her lips were compressed, her mouth narrow and pinched, an expression I recognized only too well. ‘I’m so sorry,’ I said. ‘My train was delayed.’ She hardly moved. ‘Owing to a death,’ I thought, though I didn’t say it. My mother’s blue-grey eyes were focused inwards. Her look of unspoken disappointment remained unaltered.



Simon Collings



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