Heather sipped her Sprite, closed the bottle and returned it to her bag, never taking her eyes from her book. The black chord rucksack sat on the seat beside her, the half-open zip showing notebooks, a pencil case full of black pens and highlighters, psychology textbooks, philosophy books and library books.
One such library book was in her shaking hands, held below the table, out of sight. She lifted it slowly, opened it and set the bookmark on the table, averting her eyes. Then, after a steadying breath, she began to read.
Tom Jackman was relieved to hurry onto the train. He was glad to be back working after the horror of last year's events. Hyde never had turned up again. He saw an empty seat on one side of a table and took it, sitting his laptop between him and the old lady who appeared to have fallen asleep opposite.
Heather pulled a striped notebook out of her bag with a pen already clipped to its bright cover. She opened it, turning a few pages to where she had left off.
CASE STUDY: The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde
John Gabriel Utterson: a close friend, lawyer of Dr. J. Significance of angelic name???
Doctor Jekyll: Angel or monster?
She couldn't take this. She slammed the notebook closed and pressed a hand over her mouth, choking back a sob. "Doctor Jekyll," she murmured in a broad Scottish accent. "Doctor Jee-kill."
Sitting in the chair back-to-back from her, Tom Jackman's heart skipped a beat. He'd only ever heard that pronunciation of "Jekyll" one other place and she had used it twice in a minute.
"It's not a tale," Heather wept under her breath. "It is a trap. Fuck." More stifled sobs.
Tom thought his heart had stopped. He closed his laptop and breathing very slowly, moved seats. He was now directly across the aisle from the girl he had heard speaking.
Suddenly her head slumped forward at the exact moment as the lights began to buzz and flicker.