Missed the Train

By M.Harper

Back when I was a young sprout – see what I did there?

Anyway. Back when I was 11 years old, when my mum was still on this side of living – well, she was obsessed with shopping. Whether it was clothes or jewellery. It really was anything she liked and had the money for (sometimes she didn’t and bought it anyway).

However, my story is specific to what I like to refer to as 'Suzanne's Week of Life'. I call it this because despite everything that was going on inside my mother's body at that time, her last full week of life was the happiest I ever saw her.

But how depressing is that? That isn't how she'd want this story to be described – no way. This story was a right laugh and deserves to be told in its full glory (stupidity more like).

This story took place during one night in the first week of 2012, and it is what has been aptly named 'Night of the Missed Train'.

Deep in the depths of Glasgow City Centre, close to where the big Woolworths store used to be, we had been shopping all day long. Me, my mum and my nana – who was already complaining to mum about her feet hurting, because at this stage of the night we had been out since ten o'clock in the morning and it was now dark outside. Whereas my issue with the long day – give me a break, I was eleven years old okay – was my hunger. So my mum sighed and told my nana and I to go to the subway station and meet her there once she had food. This was her assuming that we had ages until the train arrived – yeah right, we only had five minutes. My nana agreed but as I was an awkward wee sod, I decided to stay with mummy. Well, we went to the Domino's that was close by and got a huge, mouth-watering Hawaiian pizza and a side of spicy wedges – because that is exactly what to eat at midnight in a Govan flat.

On the other hand – we missed the train!

So as me and my mother sprinted with too much food in our arms for the next train, the thought never occurred to me that this might be the last time I ever run with my own mum (to be perfectly honest she shouldn’t have been running anyway, her bones were bad enough but oh well). 

As we returned home to my nana's flat in little ol' Govan, we ate pizza and laughed about strange and wonderful things. My nana never acknowledged that it was going to be the last time she saw her daughter alive. I never thought it would be the last time I had a sleepover at my nana's and ate food with my mum and her in the same room.

But sometimes the meals in those situations are the best. We were totally unknowing that one of us wouldn’t be there anymore the Monday after. The three generations of amigos just had a good night of food, fun and typical family chatter. 

Pizza isn't exactly the most nourishing food in the world, but who cares? It's the company and good conversation that make the meal what it is.