The Way Home
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Outside, the spring air is fresh for Nadia and Tracy. Tracy feels she has been indoors for too long. The sun is a little too bright, the noise of the traffic harsh. They walk to the tube station together.

Let me carry your bag.

No I'm all right.

It seems to Tracy that the station is too far away. Was is that far when she came yesterday? Was it only yesterday that she walked in the opposite direction? It seems like a long time and she is now aware of a dull dragging pain inside her. She will need to rest when she gets home. Two weeks, that's what they said, until she will feel that she is back to normal.

Outside the station, she lights a cigarette, drops her bag on the floor. Leans against the stained wall.

Go ahead, don't wait for me.

It's okay. I'm not in a hurry.

Tracy is not the only one smoking outside the station. Others stand like her observing the ritual, preparing themselves for the descent under the ground.

So what are you going to do the rest of the day?

We might go to Islington.

Tracy smiles at the 'we' in Nadia's words. Nadia goes out with her parents more than any girl that Tracy knows. There is something childlike about Nadia, something pampered, though she could not be described as spoilt. She has a 'looked after' air about her.

Why Islington?

My mother wants to visit a lady whose husband is a student. The university hostels and flats are all there.


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