Chapter 1 – Extract 8 from The Paradise Induction!
The bus journey was short.
They were at the Underground station, then on the vacant tube in what felt like seconds. His stomach had taken up champion-level gymnastics.
He used the tube journey to rest his head against the seat, calming his heart beat, before drifting to sleep.
“Chris. Chris, it’s your father,” a voice said.
“What? What?” he replied as he woke. The tube was now crowded with people carrying varying size suitcases.
His mother handed him her phone. “It’s your father.”
He took the phone and sighed. “Hey dad.”
“Hey son,” he said, sounding excited. “So this is it? The big one.”
“Yeah,” Chris mumbled. The phone signal was low, but he could hear his father’s words. His last words before he’d be on the other side of the globe.
“Well, good luck son. I’m sure it will all fall into place. Just take care of yourself out there, okay?”
“Thanks dad, and I hope it all does. I really do.”
“Alright, well see you soon.”
“See you dad.”
Chris felt sick as he handed the phone back to his mother.
See you soon? his mind questioned. What a lie.
He wouldn’t be seeing his father anytime soon if things went to plan and that hurt…a lot.
He let his head slump against the seat. The fatigue had been helpful in depleting his energy, draining his strength from crying.
The sign Heathrow, flickered in front of him between the windows of the moving tube before he could retreat to the sanctuary of sleep.
“We’re here,” his mother said.