Mrs Deborah Payne
Outward appearanceYoung, effective businesswoman. Red crepe blouse peeking out of heavy black coat. Simple but expensive gold earrings. A new leather briefcase crouches like a pet panther at her feet. In job interviews, her face always fits. It is now slightly fragile, lost in thought.
Inside informationUnattached publicity executive for Mosstains, the construction company. Inspired by the suicide of her younger brother, she works nights for the Samaritans.
What she is doing or thinkingShe has done a terrible thing: last night her boss rang Samaritans. They were short staffed, and she took the call. She has never had much respect for her boss. He is capricious, limelight hogging, sometimes generous, disorganized. He apparently thinks the same thing. "I want to get out, but I can't get out, I'm too old. And there's this woman. She's nice enough, but she disagrees with everything I say, and I just don't seem to be able to get through to her."
Deborah has never thought of herself as a powerful person. She appears to be driving her boss to suicide. That is not her chosen role in life. The whole tumult of his character rolls over her, and she feels horror for him.
At Waterloo, she steps out onto the platform and recognizes him from behind. There are rules against this, but rules are for when you do not know what to do. "John!" she calls out and runs after him. She takes his arm. "John, you can leave Mosstains, you don't need to die!" His mouth hangs open in fear, loathing, surprise, rage.
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