Taken from The Penguin Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories edited by Susan Hill (1991)
A story of grief, of reflection, memory and realisation. The rhythm of this piece makes it almost essential to read it out loud, the repetitiveness of the phrasing echoing the movement of the train at the start of the piece. Is it really possible for someone to love someone so much that they can forgive them their continual indiscretions, especially when the evidence of one of those is asking you to clamber over stone trees on the sea shore. Wondering why such an unlikely friendship has survived the years, and now being sort of glad it has. One senses that even after the realisation, there will be forgiveness, acceptance and understanding of shared loss.