Part 9 of 60 - Running Further (part 2)


I dart out of the door and take a sharp left, and then sprint through the nearby alleyway.
I know there’s a train station across the road, and plenty of time in the day.

Hope that nobody sees me and grasses me up, and I don’t know what time these trains come.
And only once have I ever even been on a train, when I went to Walsall once with my mum.

I got to the station, in just a few seconds, and a train had pulled in straight away.
I see there’s a lady train guard standing there, so I make my way over and say,

“Where does this train go?”, and she then replied “Birmingham”, so I went onto the train.
Hope that I’ve not been spotted, and my heart is now racing, but at the same time I try to act plain.

The train then starts moving, and my hearts beating faster, a mix of excitement and fear.
I’m scared that the police might recognise me, and maybe they’ll come onto here.

I’ve heard that Birmingham is a big place, and that is all I really know.
And no-one will think to look for me there, so that is where I will go.

I then get a ticket from the other train guard, hoping no questions are asked.
I pull out a twenty, because now I have plenty, and I’m leaving this place in the past.

“Child ticket?” he asks, and with “yes” I reply, and he gives me my ticket and change.
And I’m glad that the train’s driving so far away, as it now starts to get out of range.

A few stations later, the train then stops at Bloxwich, and on my carriage get on two police.
I hope they don’t see me, because it’s inside school hours, but I’m wearing my tracksuit and fleece.

I’m crapping it now, will they recognise me? Am I about to get caught by a cop?
But luckily, they both got off at Walsall, which thankfully was the next stop.

Past Bescot Stadium and Tamebridge Parkway, past Villa Park right into Brum.
I wonder by now if the police know that I’m missing, and reported by my foster mum.

‘Oh what a big tunnel, I’ve never done this’, I thought as the train pulled into New Street.
Tried my best to keep normal, and stay inconspicuous, as I got up from my seat.

The doors opened, I got off the train, and then felt an adrenaline stream.
First time in a city, whilst on my own tod, and the furthest alone that I’d been.

I walked behind the commuters, they all seemed in a rush, and then the main hall was where I got to.
Every time that I saw a police officer’s clothes, I tried my best to stay right out of view.

Convinced that they’d seen me, I’d quickly walk on, and then turn my head over my shoulder.
Did not hang about, as I felt I stood out, because everyone around was much older.

Walked outside of the station, and past some more police, but I didn’t spend that much time on the street.
I then turned around, to go back to the shop, to buy myself something to eat.

And then I saw, the departure boards, and on the list I then saw Coventry.
And I’d been fascinated by the designing of stadiums, when I’d see the football on the TV.

So that’s where I’ll go, to Coventry’s stadium, just have a quick peek from outside.
So I find my way to the ticket office, and go on to pay for my ride.

Back through the manned gates, and down to the train, on the way to Coventry I now go.
It’s been a good couple of hours since I had left, surely by now they must know.

No police on this train, I’m now much more relaxed, as I observe life around from this chair.
There are all sorts of people, going all sorts of places, and it’s not long until I get there.

I get off the train and then walk out of the station, to try and find where Coventry play.
But there weren’t many people, around to ask for directions, and I had no clue of the way.

I walked back in to the station, didn’t know what to do, still hoping I’d not yet been seen.
And then I saw, in bright orange letters, “London Euston” on the timetable screen.

‘London Euston?’ I thought, I wonder if that, is the capital city or not.
And if it is, then that sounds exciting, I’d like to go there a lot.

Or is it a village, in the middle of nowhere, that just happens to share the same name?
I don’t want to be, stuck out in the sticks, like I was in Great Haywood again.

So I asked a man, waiting inside the station, “Excuse me mate could you help me?
Does that writing there, that says ‘London Euston’, mean ‘London’ as in the city?”

The man in his twenties then chuckled and said, “Yes mate that’s the same place,
The train comes in five minutes, and arrives on this platform”, in which I then replied to him “ace.”

And when the train came, with excitement jumped on, the inside seemed well kept and plush.
As the train left, I once again, felt that same big intense rush.

The ticket inspector came up, I got out my cash, and said “A child single to London mate, please.”
As I gave him my money, he then printed my ticket, and looked at me with slight unease.

“Where are you going, when you get to London?” the ticket inspector then suddenly said.
Then I had to think, of the quickest thing, which had come to me from inside my head.

“I’m meeting a pen-pal” I replied, “Where does he live?” the ticket man says.
“I can’t quite remember”, was what I’d thought to say, “but I’m staying there for a few days.”

“Is anyone meeting you at the other end? Have you got a number for them you can call?”
In which I reply “his dad’s meeting me there, and I don’t have a number at all.”

“So where are your bags?” he continues to ask, “Surely you have packed up some clothes?”
“His dad’s lending me some”, was the answer I thought, and I start to wonder if he now knows.

“OK” he then said and he gave me a ticket, and then walked off once I’d said “thank you”.
A big sigh of relief, I can once again breathe, as I sit and I think to myself ‘phew’.

But it’s not over yet, could have he called the police? Will there be some at the other end?
Or did he believe, my quick made up story that I was off to see my friend?

(continues below ad and music) 


The train pulls into Euston station, I can’t believe that I’ve made it here.
I get that same rush, that I’ve been getting all day, the mix of excitement and fear.

Don’t let the police see me, I try and act straight, in the middle of the crowds I will stay.
But my chances of getting caught now feel a lot slimmer, because I’m feeling so far away.

And then I walk into the main hall, still early and got loads of time.
Make my way through the station, and then I see, a big London underground sign.

I’d only once seen that red and blue symbol, on my mum’s computer game.
With some tunnels you’d walk through, with no tracks at all, I didn’t think that there’d be a train.

So for a few moments, in my mind I had thought, they were just tunnels to walk underground.
Until I’d seen, all the ticket machines, and then down below I heard a train sound.

I looked at the map, and I couldn’t believe, the number of stations I saw.
I know that I now, can get away, like I’ve not got to before.

This time it’s different, I’ve got money to travel, another ticket I can afford.
I read names of some places that I’d vaguely heard of, mainly from the Monopoly board.

Piccadilly Circus, Waterloo, King’s Cross and Leicester Square.
Leicester Square looks quite easy to get to from here, so I think that I will go there.

I buy a ticket and get down to the train, everything feels so busy to me.
Its hustle and bustle, and people look different, I feel that there’s so much to see.

I didn’t realise that the stations were close, I was surprised how quick I’d got there.
The train felt so fast, as it had passed, through the tunnels and then to Leicester Square.

The train soon pulls in, and I leave the tube station, and I take a short wander around.
The first time I’d seen buskers and human statues, and homeless folk there on the ground.

Portrait artists and tourists with maps, all different nationalities.
I heard Foreign-spoken languages all around me, and there seemed to be lots of Chinese.

Not too long after whilst still walking around, it had then started to lightly rain.
And I wasn’t sure, if it would star to pour, so I went back to get on the train.

I look at the map and I then see Piccadilly Circus is just one stop away.
And I’ve never been, to once see a circus, so there for a while I will stay.

Unknown to me then, it was only a few yards walk through Coventry Street.
I’d brought one more ticket, got back on the train, but had walked more than I’d sat in my seat.

I saw the bright lights that you’d see on the postcards, it felt like I was at the fair.
See yet more buskers, and tourists would get henna tattoos whilst sat on a chair.

I wandered around, and absorbed it all in, still with no plan or no purpose.
I then asked a man in a group out on the town, “Excuse me mate where is this circus?”

“This is it mate” he then replied, “There’s no circus?” I had then asked.
“It’s not that kind of circus, it’s because of the road”, he said as so many folk passed.

Not too long after, I made my way back, back on to the underground.
And once again looked at the tube map, to see what places could be found.

‘Angel’ sounded an interesting place, felt like something would be there.
But I soon got bored, with not much to do, so I decided that I’d go elsewhere.

I walked back to the tube, and then looked at the map, and saw ‘Arsenal’ next to a blue line.
I supported that team, and to go to Highbury, was a newfound childhood dream of mine.

After asking the staff inside the tube station, if that was where Arsenal play.
I then once again got on a train, sat down this time and made my way.

And to my surprise, the station was busy, plenty of folk were walking in.
And outside of the tube was a bloke selling scarfs, and flags from inside of a bin.

A game had been on, there at Highbury, so I made my way up to the ground.
The gates were still open and people were leaving, so I went inside to look around.

Up a few stairs and through the long hall, to the top corner of the end stand.
I imagine they’re playing, and Ian Wright’s scoring, and then in front of my face waves a hand.

“I’m sorry mate, but you’ve got to leave, we’re emptying the stadium now”,
“No worries” I said, because I was just glad, that I’d caught a good look somehow.

Out of the stadium, and back to the tube, I don’t really know where to go.
So I rode the tube back to Piccadilly Circus, where buskers would put on a show.

The sound of loud bongos, and folk having fun, when I got there it had now turned to night.
And it ain’t gone dead quiet, like where I am from, and the vibe at the time felt alright.

I walked down the street, where I saw a souvenir shop, so I buy myself a wallet from there.
And then soon I see, that I have quickly, wandered back to Leicester Square.

I walk past the buskers, and the Pizzerias, and the tube station that I now know.
But time’s ticking on, and I still haven’t found, any kind of shelter to go.

Back to the tube map, now where do I go, somewhere safe this time of night?
And then I saw, Whitechapel station, and thought that it sounded alright.

Surely I’m safe, near some big white chapel, it doesn’t sound a busy place.
No-one will be around there at night surely, which means that few will see my face.

I buy yet one more ticket, still plenty of money, and I feel like a millionaire.
Through the barriers, and down the escalators, a Rasta busker plays Bob Marley there.

I change at Kings Cross, learn to read the tube map, get on the Hammersmith and City line.
I’m sure it will be quite a beautiful place, and this big white chapel will be fine.

Ben Westwood is revealing a full poem a day of his sixty chapter true-story novel in poetry between April 20th - June 20th 2018.
If you'd rather not wait until June to read the full version then you can also order a copy of Poems From a Runaway on amazon for immediately delivery at 

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