The Way Home
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So for Tracy there is no remorse over her relationship with Chris. Simply staying in motion conquered the instinct to question, to doubt. Like the reluctance to stop the escalators. They rattle and thunder down and once you take the first step it is difficult to change your mind. To continue is easier than to repent.

Tracy is like the imprisoned thief whose only regret is that he was caught. When the doors of the train slide open, she will ride to her old life again. Mate illegally with Chris again, but be careful, really careful that she is not caught again, caught and taken to the nursing home.

Why doubt what the magazines encourage. She was just unlucky that's all. And the pinches of doubt can be silenced by motion, by perpetuating the myths, keeping them alive. Here, right in front of them as the train pulls away, there is a poster of two handsome people, happy in the sunshine. The girl is blonde with a tan, she wears a green bathing suit. 'Be Safe this Summer with Durex' is the command. That ad with its clean sea and sand must be the truth then, not the vacuum that roared and sucked and gobbled.

Does the girl look a little like Golden Beauty?

In a few weeks it will be as if the nursing home has never happened. Tracy will never meet the people she met there. She will never see again the nurse who held her hand, the other nurse who had a cold. Only Nadia will be a reminder. Now Tracy wishes that Nadia had not come, her presence made Chris's absence more poignant, more marked.

When friendships run their course there are no rituals of mourning. There are no tears. There is not even a premonition of finality. So in the train as Tracy and Nadia sit in front of a woman in a sari reading the last pages of a library book, a man with a mermaid tattooed on his arm, they promise each other meetings and telephone calls. They will meet in college after the Easter break. Tracy wants to get a job with the Body Shop during the holidays, she will tell Nadia what it is like. Nadia will work at her father's agency, she will get Tracy brochures of Australia. They are not insincere in their promises but they will not keep them.

After three stops Nadia says good-bye, leaves Tracy to continue further south, change trains and head east. Alone Nadia can walk fast, run up the escalators, out to the fresh spring air.



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