“What do you reckon? Any good?”
The words startled her out of her own little world. Dammit, she was just getting into this. She looked up from the book and saw him for the first time. Early twenties, six feet tall and dressed in jeans, boots and a green military style jacket. Over his right shoulder hung a rucksack, unremarkable except for the gold coloured carabiner attached to the strap. It looked new. It looked heavy. His short dark hair framed a kind yet troubled face.
“Erm, just getting into it really, not sure yet.” She closed the paperback and clasped her hands protectively over the cover.
“I read it a couple of years ago – thought it was pretty good, except for the ending. The ending was a let down.”
“Ha! Thanks for that, is there any point me finishing it?”
“There’s always a point. The question is, was there any point in him writing it?” He sat down in the chair next to hers, placing his bag protectively between his feet.
“Well, the writer clearly has a point to get across. I think he does, anyway. I’m enjoying it, it’s making sense, answering a lot of questions I had.”
“In that case, I hope you enjoy the ending.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then you’ll still have answers, just to different questions, that’s all.”
A soft blast of warm air swept passed them, signalling the approach of the next train from along the tunnel. The young man stood and looked down at her, his face looking less kind now.
“This is my train. Are you getting on?”
“No, I’m waiting for the next Hammersmith and City line train.”
“That’s a shame. Goodbye.”
He turned and set off along the platform, head bowed, hands pocketed, his rucksack now back in its rightful place piggybacked between his shoulder blades. She watched him go for a few seconds before replacing her attention on her book. Instinctively she turned to the inside cover and checked the date on the library stamp: 17th July 2005.
Great, that gave her ten days to finish it.