Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's back to work - and back on the tube

I got to Finsbury Park station with John, who'd managed to wangle coming in late so he could travel with me. I was feeling very frightened but determined.
As I got to the station I discovered that the staff had closed the grille and people were milling about unable to get on the Victoria line train. It turned out that the line was so overcrowded that they weren't letting any more people onto the train.
I almost burst into tears. It brought back many unwelcome memories of Russell Square grille being closed and the commuters milling about outside trying to get onto the train whilst I and the other survivors staggered about trying to get out of the station.
"Do you want to get a cab?" asked John. I said no. "I won't be able to have you next to me next time I get on the Tube, and I've got to get on it, otherwise it will just get worse and worse."
We went and had a coffee and I began to cry with frustration and fear. I didn't want to get on at all but I knew I had to, and the delay was making it harder.
We paid for the coffees and I called work again to let them know I was still trying to get in. Then I pressed my lips together and walked to the platform, turning right to the Victoria line instead of left.
And I got on the first carriage, by the first set of double doors just as I had done on Thursday. But this time I got a seat.
As the train set off I began to well up and shake. I held John tightly. As we approached Kings Cross a man leaned towards me. "Is this your first time back on the tube?" he asked, having noticed my distress and looking a little shaky himself.
I said yes. We began to talk. His name was Eamon and he had been on the same train as me on Thursday! I recognised him from the newspapers.
We talked of how frightened we had been. We both talked in a rush and the journey passed quickly. We exchanged numbers and shook hands. I surfaced at Oxford Circus, with John, in tears of relief and amazed yet again that I had met another survivor.
I arrived at work and had a talk with my boss who was sympathetic and kind.
My team were glad to see me. I'm glad to be here. Made it. Cups of tea all round.


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