At the Birmingham station, Marie and Frost got off the train and headed into the city. They walked past a fish-and-chips stand, and her stomach grumbled as she breathed in the greasy aroma. Frost chuckled and turned back.
“You place the order,” he said, handing her a couple pound notes. “I’ll wait for you here.”
Walking a few feet away, he leaned against the doorframe of a nearby building. The perfect spot for people-watching without being noticed himself.
Marie took her place in the short queue. This was her chance. If she ran, with all these people around, he wouldn’t be able to catch her. Or she could just point at him and start screaming. The scenarios played themselves out in her mind, but in a few moments it was her turn to order.
She could tell the vendor, just whisper the words.
Instead she paid for her order and carried the two baskets to Frost. They sat on the edge of a large concrete planter and ate in silence as the sun continued its descent into temporary oblivion.
“What next?” Marie asked.
“We find you a place to stay the night.”
“What about you?”
“I have to go.”
“You’re going to leave me?”
Frost nodded and bit into a greasy chip.
“Where are you going?”
Frost shifted so that he was partially facing her. “Marie, what are you doing in England?”
“Shouldn’t you be home? Doing whatever it is American girls do?”
“I’m supposed to answer your questions when you won’t answer mine?”
“Unfair, I know.” His eyes darkened with warmth. “Just tell me why you’re here.”
Marie shrugged. “I came to Europe with the Camp Shows. Part of the USO tours.”
“I know of them.”
“We were in Bristol about eight months ago when I got the flu. The tour went on without me, and I ended up performing in a London nightclub.”
“You could have gone home. Back to America.”
Marie smiled at the way his voice changed, so subtly, almost reverently, when he pronounced America. She’d heard it often during her time abroad, been amused by the interest others showed in her simply because she claimed citizenship with the red, white, and blue.
In her time away from home, she had learned that many craved what she took for granted. Even the farming life she despised, that she ran away from, offered more security, greater liberty, than what so many others had. But it didn’t matter. She didn’t want to go back to milking cows and feeding chickens, to grow old before her time.
To have never lived.
Christian Fiction Friday is a weekly blog hop where authors post snippets from their current works in progress. It is hosted by Alana Terry and Hallee Bridgeman. Click here for a full list of rules and suggestions.