The Long Way Home

How a misadventure in England led to a uniquely beautiful memory

Aaron Schnoor

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It was 3:00am Greenwich Mean Time, and I sat on a cold bench in a drafty train station in Wolverhampton, England.

I had no idea where I was. Except that I was in Wolverhampton, of course.

The big black letters on the white-tiled wall of the train station told me that, taunting me as if to remind me that I knew where I was but was lost at the same time.

WOLVERHAMPTON STATION.

The name meant nothing to me, and yet it could tell me everything I wanted to know. I pulled a worn map of the United Kingdom out of my back pocket and flipped it open, spreading the worn creases and peering at the odd town names. Leicester, Coventry, Birmingham—ah, there it was—Wolverhampton.

I traced my finger from the town all the way down to the lower right corner of the map. London.

I had four hours to get from Wolverhampton to London. But I had no train. I had no means of transportation.

I folded the map and put it back in my pocket. There was no beating around the bush, no denying the truth that I knew.

I was completely lost.

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