Come on, Wendy thought desperately, her boots pounding against the concrete sidewalk as raindrops flew around her. Thunder shook the world and lightning slashed across the sky as Wendy shivered from the cold. As she pulled her coat closer to her soaked, shaking body, she glanced down at her watch and looked at the time.
I have two minutes to get there, she thought with determination. I have enough time, I’m sure of it. I can make it.
Two minutes to get to that blasted train station.
Two minutes to make sure that blasted girl didn’t leave without a final goodbye.
Two minutes more of running in the stupid, blasted rain.
Lightning flashed again, and the downpour only seemed to get worse. Wendy cursed herself for not putting on a thicker coat.
Why the dickens leave now, of all days?! she thought incredulously. And why not tell me until the very last moment?!
On second thought, Nancy hadn’t even told Wendy that she was leaving at all, let alone at the last moment. Wendy really believed she had done a better job at gaining Nancy’s trust. Oh well.
Wendy had found out that Nancy was leaving when cleaning her room, and she’d seen that Nancy had rather unwisely left her phone, simply sitting there out in the open, on Wendy’s bed. She must have forgotten it after their last…meeting. They had made plans to play chess together, but it was cut rather short when an itty bitty argument occurred. After that, Nancy stormed off, not even noticing that she had left her phone.
And obviously, Wendy, being the nosy girl she was, decided to look through it. She’d already known Nancy’s phone PIN for quite a while, so getting in was a piece of cake. There, she saw that one of the many…interesting tabs Nancy happened to have open was a confirmation email saying that she had booked a ticket for a train headed for Lancaster on Sunday night at 8:30.
Upon reading that email, it was 8:23.
So now Wendy was here, sprinting as fast as she could to get to that train station before it left for Lancaster, so she could tell that daft girl of hers goodbye. Wendy had also prepared Nancy a little surprise, hidden in the inside folds of her coat. The coat a tad bit oversized, so it was perfect for hiding things when necessary.
And for Wendy, it was necessary to hide things quite a lot. Possibly more than optimal for her.
Wendy finally slowed down, her breath making small clouds in the cold, January air. The rain had finally let up a little, and thunder rumbled somewhere far away. She had finally arrived at the train station, and she was immediately met with the boisterous sound of dozens of people frantically bustling about to get to their trains in time. She heard several whistles, shouts, screeching of brakes, and other noises mixed into the cacophony. Wendy scanned the crowd, looking for the girl with waist-length brown hair, a short stature, and a ridiculous obsession with anything related to chess.
Finally, among the crowd and smoke from the nearby trains, Wendy saw her. And then she saw Wendy. For a moment, their eyes locked. Pale, icy blue on dark, bottomless brown.
And then, the moment ended.
Nancy went white as a sheet and stumbled backward toward the nearest train. Next to the entrance, a plump, grey-haired man called out, “Oi! Last call for Lancaster!” as the train let out a high, shrill whistle. Wendy ran after her, yelling, “Nancy! Get back here, you daft girl!” Nancy turned around once - and only once - so that Wendy could see her expression. Among the freckles dotting her face like confetti and the red, rosy cheeks from the cold was an expression Wendy knew all too well. Simply by looking at Nancy’s face, Wendy knew that she had already lost.
Nancy jumped into the train just as the door was closing, and the train let out one last whistle before chugging away.
“Wait!” Wendy called out, her hand outstretched. She desperately searched the moving train windows, scanning for Nancy’s face. And then, she saw it. And Nancy was still wearing that stupid expression that she put on when she knew she’d won. You couldn’t catch me this time, Wendy imagined her thinking. I know what you tried to do. I know what you hide behind that smug little smirk of yours. Have fun catching me now!
Wendy scowled, her face flushing with anger. In her resentment and frustration, the small, forearm-length object she had taken so much care to hide in her coat to surprise Nancy with for a final goodbye slipped out and clattered to the stone-bricked ground. It gleamed, even in the dim moonlight.
A kitchen knife. Sharpened to perfection.
Cursing under her breath, Wendy swiftly picked it back up and shoved it back into the inside folds of her coat. How in the heavens did she know? Wendy thought, irritated. She turned around and started the slow walk back home.
Wendy had underestimated her ‘friend’. Nancy wasn’t as daft as Wendy had believed her to be. She was still rather incompetent, sure, but not completely. After all, she had managed to outsmart Wendy.
But Wendy swore she’d make sure that this would be the first and last time that’d be happening.
She thought vaguely about what Nancy liked to say in these kinds of situations, where she was finally able to put Wendy in a position where she simply couldn’t win. Wendy could even swear that she saw Nancy mouthing it through the window.
Checkmate, my friend!
Wendy scowled again, putting her hands in her coat pockets and searching for her phone among the other paraphernalia she kept in there. Well, my ‘friend’, it’s never truly a checkmate until I no longer have any moves to play. Until I no longer have any more tricks up my sleeve.
And if Wendy had anything, other than an oversized coat, a rather remarkable skill with knives, and a stubborn attitude, it was an abundance of tricks and schemes that Nancy would never see coming.
Wendy continued walking, even as the rain lashed down on her. It unfazed her this time around. Pulling out her phone, she smiled with mischief and renewed determination as she booked the next train ticket for Lancaster.