‘Oh, I’m so sorry!’ she said as the tea drenched through her drawings and neared the other end of the table.
‘Hm?’ he turned to her, looked down at the spreading pool of tea. ‘No worries,’ he smiled a dazzling smile that reminded her of her increased heart rate, although it did not quite seem to reach his eyes. He took out a package of Kleenex and used one to soak up most of the tea.
‘It’s more of a shame for you, if these were yours,’ he indicated the now ruined drawings, ‘it looks as if they were rather good.’
‘You think so?’
‘Yes,’ he smiled again, ‘have you made any more?’
‘Not as good as those, but,’ she took out some more drawings.
‘You’re really talented,’ he said, ‘aren’t you?’
She blushed appropriately.
They spent some more time looking at drawings. Then he asked her where she was going and she told him.
‘We stopped there about twenty minutes ago,’ he said, ‘I hope you weren’t meeting someone important.’
‘No,’ she said, ‘no one important, I’ll just take the next stop.’
‘Hmm…’ his eyes seemed to glow and for a short moment she saw Dave waiting at the station looking for her.
‘What do you want from life?’ the pale man asked.
‘Oh,’ she shrugged, ‘what does anyone want? A place to call my own, someone to love, you know…’
‘No,’ he said, ‘I don’t know. Tell me.’
‘I want to never grow old,’ she said, ‘I want servants like they had in the old days. And I want everyone to love and adore me.’ She blinked. That was not what she had meant to say. It had not sounded at all pleasant either. ‘I don’t want to seem like an egoist,’ she said.
‘I’m getting off at the next stop,’ he said, ‘come with me.’
‘Isn’t that a bit much,’ she twirled her hair around a finger, ‘I mean, we’ve only just met, and-’
‘This is it,’ he said as the train slowed and rose to his feet.
‘Well, I have to get off anyway,’ she took her bag and followed him to the train door.
‘Come,’ he held out his hand as they stood in front of the door. She swallowed then took it, heart aflutter.
‘You have lied to me,’ he said.
‘I,’ her eyes widened.
‘No worries,’ he showed his gleaming white teeth in another smile, ‘I will forgive you.’ The train door opened to a green wood with a thick carpet of snowdrop anemones and birdsong in the branches. ‘In time.’
And they stepped through.