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Story Notes:

This is based on what happened to me a few weeks ago, I've just changed a few details to fit Jo.

Jo Maynard looked up from her book with a small sigh. She looked out of the window at the passing landscape and watched the hedgerows and villages as they flew by. The train slackened and stopped briefly at a station.

"Only two more stops till mine," she thought to herself. "How I hate this travelling." She looked back down at her book and replaced the bookmark before dropping it into her bag.

Jo had been away for the weekend visiting her brother in hospital and was now heading back to her own home. Dick had been glad for her company and she had been happy to spend the time sitting with him. They had had so little time to see each other over the years and Jo had missed him. Her own illness had prevented her from being able to visit him when he was still out in India and then the war had meant that he'd been unable to return home until very recently.

Now, as Jo stared out of the train window, she hoped that she wouldn't have to live so far away from him again. The realities of how short life was had been brought home to them both when the gentleman in the next bed had passed away, just suddenly ceasing to breathe, with his wife and some of his family there at the end. Others had come later to discover the news and the nurses had been much quieter in their normal banter, out of respect for the dead. Dick had been subdued by what had happened.

"I was only talking to him yesterday," he had said, quietly. "He seemed such a nice fellow, too." Jo had stayed quiet, contemplating what had just happened and realised just how close she had come to leaving others behind, herself.

Jo had spent the evening at her sister-in-law’s home. They'd enjoyed a nice meal with the family and then played Scrabble as they shared a bottle of wine together. The Bettany children had left them alone, divining that they would be able to relax more without worrying about what they were up to as well.

When Jo had retired to bed that night, she had been thankful for having such a loving family. She lay in the dark, allowing her thoughts to swirl around and settle slowly until her eyelids drooped and she slept.

The next morning, Jo woke late. It was unusual for her but, having travelled down to Devon alone, she found she was more relaxed since she hadn't had to deal with her family at an early hour. The morning had passed quickly as Jo spent time catching up with Peggy and Bride, both of whom she'd not seen for a while. Then, after a quick meal, she set off to the hospital once more.

Dick was happy to see his sister again, understanding that she could only stay for a short while or she'd miss her train back to Armiford. They talked about old times and Jo was pleased to see him looking much happier before she had to leave.

Now, as the train pulled into the station, she rose and pulled her bag down from the overhead rack. She was soon handing her ticket in to the guard and crossing the station concourse to the entrance.

"Jo! Over here!" came the call. She turned and saw Jack patiently waiting for her by the car. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her when she reached him and they stood silent for a brief time.

"How nice to be home. I've missed you," Jo said as they climbed into the car.

"It's nice to have you back, too. How's Dick?"

"He's not too bad. It was good to be able to see him, though."

"Good. You’ve had so little time with him, really. Shall we go home?" As Jo nodded, Jack started the car and they set off for their home and family.



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