Car 7

Mr Charles Wright

Outward appearance

Unshaven, plump older black man with twists of silver in his hair. Green track suit bottoms, working class cap, trainers. Sits holding a W H Smith bag with a CD in it.

Inside information

Took early retirement from Lloyds. The payout wasn't quite sufficient. Has worried too much about finances since. He's distracted.

This morning he woke up and realized that he had forgotten his wife's birthday. Paule makes such a big fuss over occasions. He pretended to be asleep, as she got ready to go out to her cleaning job. He waited until he heard the door close and then got up, ill with the earliness, did his morning chores, and nipped out of the house.

He went to the concourse at Waterloo Station to buy some chocolates. The confectioner's was closed. Then he thought: I'll buy her a CD single for a card and say I'm getting tickets for a show. But Our Price was closed as well. In a panic he headed across the river, to Charing Cross. He had a coffee until W H Smith opened. Saw nothing she might like. Bought Now That's What I Call Music 30 .

What he is doing or thinking

Getting back on at Embankment, he saw his wife flash past in Car 4, followed by her friend Mary Wallis in Car 6. Finally made it into Car 7.

Which means he'll have to get out at Waterloo, or they'll see him. He'll have to run all the way home and hope that Mary and Paule will stop to talk.

Happy birthday.

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