Chloe Belcher – 12.53 Birmingham New Street

Spaced out, looking out to the people around me. All in conversations, a humming of voices. I’m sat with my head looking to the floor as usual, wondering how it can be so easy to get lost into a place that isn’t real. I imagine these people’s lives, their jobs, and their families. What did they do last night, were they with family or a late night at the office? I’ll never know the truth and the illusions appeal to me.

Train delay. Great, the sighs surround me and disgruntled travellers begin pacing. The typical screen staring, hoping the numbers will tick down to the original timings of the 12.53. Expected, 13.02. Delayed, 14 minutes. What’s happened? Expected 13.07. The station begins to flood with people waiting for the Birmingham new street train, lucky for those who come late; they will still be on time.

13.12 train arrives. A flurry of passengers getting on the train, rushing for available chairs in the hope of not standing for journey. I’ve got a seat and the train is in motion. Countryside views and a comfortable seat, finally. Almost at New Street, passengers have started standing to wait at the doors; children’s voices flood the carriage with excitement of the day out coming. So I’m faced with the unforgiving crowds of the bullring shopping centre, trying to weave through without knocking people. Crammed up onto an escalator and up we go, finally I’m back outside away from the chaos.

So I’ve spent the day with my brother and it’s time to home. The train is soon and I hope not to be delayed. Human sardines, 2 carriages and sitting in a luggage rack. Personal boundaries none existent, and an apology from the driver of 2 carriages missing. Brilliant. I feel like a caged animal, sitting awkwardly within this space that doesn’t fit, the journey feels longer and passengers grow weary.

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