Zola ran her finger around the rim of the glass. It didn’t make a sound – she’d never got the knack of that. She sighed and drank down the last few drops of wine. She could hear a train pulling into the station, and knew it was hers. It was time to make the decision.

Out of one pocket she took her ticket, out of the other her phone, and placed them side-by-side. It wasn’t too late. She could call now – there were seven missed calls listed on the screen. Petra would still take her back: she would drive right over and bring her home.

She looked at the ticket. Zola didn’t recognise the name of the destination; she wasn’t even sure she could pronounce it. She had chosen it at random, which had seemed like such a romantic idea – a glass of wine and a new city in a foreign country – but now she was starting to think that it was simply foolish.

Then she leaned backwards, and the bruise on her back jabbed against the chair. She winced: it hurt, but it wasn’t so bad. Maybe it wouldn’t happen again.

The phone started vibrating: Petra was trying to reach her again. Zola stared at the little face smiling out at her, and remembered it twisted into a snarl. Maybe it wouldn’t happen again. Maybe this time Petra would mean what she said, would keep off the drink – and the other stuff. Maybe.

Zola picked up the ticket and left to catch her train.


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