ben whishaw*

3

All I want to do is wave. But, of course, what can I say? Um… “So long, Captain Leslie?” - “So long, Perce.” But then he does see me. He glances over, but he’s still talking to his pal and just then the train lurches forward. The brakes go on and the blue lights go out and just like that, pitch-black. And all the other fellas in the carriage start groaning and someone says, “Oh, here we fucking go,” but all I can feel is my heart beating and the air. And the darkness pressing against the window and my hand gripping the window ledge. And then someone takes my hand. Someone outside on the platform. And it’s Terence. And he takes my hand and he just… lifts it to his lips and he kisses it. There’s no train then, there’s no troops, there’s no war. There’s just his bramble lips pressed against the tips of my fingers… and all the hair on my neck goes up on end. And then the train lurches forward and he’s let go of my hand and all the blue lights go on, and… Outside there’s nothing but steam. Steam and darkness.