Publication: 1st August 2019 (eBook); 8th August 2019 (paperback) – Aria
The sequel to the bestselling phenomenon The Note – based on the true story of one girl and her ‘Train Man’…
A year after the kiss that brought them together in a snowy train-station doorway, Maya and James are embarking on another journey – this time around the world.
The trip starts promisingly, with an opulent and romantic Indian wedding. But as their travels continue, Maya fears that ‘love at first sight’ might not survive trains, planes and tuk tuks, especially when she realises that what she really wants is a baby, and James doesn’t feel the same.
Can Maya and James navigate their different hopes and dreams to stay together? Or is love at first sight just a myth after all…
Perfect for fans of One Day in December, Our Stop and Marian Keyes. The Postcard continues the once-in-a-lifetime love story that readers so took to their hearts.
My Travels with Train Man
Hi, I’m Maya, I’m 29, and I’m a stalker. Through completely non-grubby means, I have had Bono beckon me for a cuddle, The Hoff has laughed at my jokes, and Tom Cruise has led me by the hand on one of his red-carpet walkabouts. But the stalk of my life, the one I’m most proud of, was the handsome stranger on the train who ended up falling in love
For almost a year after he started getting the 8.21 a.m. to King’s Cross, I wore that little bit extra mascara and tried not to stare as he read books I loved. He was so beautiful and seemed like a good soul, but we never spoke. I tried to test if he would notice me by ‘accidentally’ dropping my ticket, to see if he would pick it up. My heart sang when he did, but I blushed too hard and squeaked too high to say anything more than an inelegant ‘Ta’.
It took almost a year for me to pluck up the courage to write him a note – on my birthday in May – and another eleven days for me to actually give it to him. When he emailed me at 5 p.m. to say thanks, happy birthday, but unfortunately he had a girlfriend, I was gutted but decided to cling onto the use of the word ‘unfortunately’. Remember, I’m good.
Months passed. Friends told me to move on. I went on the odd date. I even dated the guy I used to slow down for in kiss chase at primary school… but I just couldn’t get past the fact that they weren’t Train Man. My sister called me ‘too picky’. I know I sound like I was taking the fast train to Crazytown, but I really saw myself with Train Man.
Months after I’d given Train Man the note, I was doing a shoot for a newspaper I was working for (you might remember the whole Fifi Fashion Insider furore – yeah, that’s me), and who was the photographer at the studio? That’s right, Train Man. He didn’t get the chance to tell me his circumstances had changed. Stunned in shock and silenced by his beauty, I was too embarrassed to seize the moment. When his ex-girlfriend walked in, I fled the studio with a hot face and a broken heart; I thought they were still together.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I was on the last train home, stuck in the snow at 1 a.m. in a village outpost. I was about to panic, and there he was in the doorway. He told me he was single; he had been for months. He said he’d noticed me – HE’D NOTICED ME?! – way before I dropped my ticket or threw the note at him. He told me he’d noticed my sparkly eyes. We kissed in the doorway of a closed pub and that night I fell in love for real.
We no longer get the 8.21 a.m. to King’s Cross. In fact, we’re about to embark on another, bigger, adventure – my long-held dream of travelling the world for a year. And you, dear Esprit reader, are invited too…
New Year’s Eve 2015, Udaipur, India
‘YOU AND JAMES SHOULD GET MARRIED!’ bellows Josie from across the dance floor. She is teetering on skyscraper heels, in the same oyster hue and with the same satin sheen as her micro dress, clutching a bottle of Moët in her left hand. ‘BEING A WIFEY IS AMAAAAAAZING!’
Maya looks at the bright colours and rich fabrics swirling around them, relieved that James isn’t within earshot. It takes a lot of noise to drown Josie out, but the twelve dashing men banging out bhangra beats on kettle drums have spared Maya this time around. Maya doesn’t have to flush a shade of awkward and James doesn’t need to smile uncomfortably and change the subject.
It started three days ago at the mehndi ceremony, when Josie first started asking Maya why James hadn’t proposed yet – and if she thought he might. Maya was relieved to be easily able to change the focus of conversation onto Priyanka and her friends, and to lose Josie in the intricacies of floral and geometric henna.
The cringe factor was upped two days ago, after the cricket match that turned into a black-tie dinner. Josie was so giddy that the gang were back together that she had a bit too much fizz and started crying when she tried to explain how happy she was and that marriage really was the best thing she and Dominic had ever done.
On day three of the festivities – a boating trip followed by lunch at a palace on the lake – a tipsy Josie stood up on the sunset boat back across Lake Pichola and started twerking to ‘Put A Ring On It’, a backing track of which she played on her phone. She even straddled James for part of her routine, shoving her ring finger at him and pointing it in his face. James was not amused. The bride’s grandparents were not amused. Dominic was mortified and pulled Josie back into her seat before she capsized the boat and drowned everyone in it.
This morning, over breakfast of kachori and roti, in the palatial gardens that hugged the still lake, Josie was offering up her Italian wedding villa venue for Maya and James to wed in, even though it wasn’t hers to
‘Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely to go back, Dom?’ she mused through faraway eyes.
‘Easy, Joze,’ replied Dominic, rubbing his droopy brown eyes, sensing the change in the atmosphere, while James scrolled through the photos on his digital SLR and Maya thought make it stop.
But it didn’t… Earlier, during the flower-filled Hindu ceremony, Josie had squeezed Maya’s arm as Jeremy and Priyanka took their seven steps around the fire, leaned in and whispered to Maya and James, ‘Oh gawd, you have to do this at your wedding.’
Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons.
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