Rerouted

At work, I was feeling more and more sick, so I’m heading home from work early to avoid contaminating the office.

Train at Flinder’s St is spontaneously rerouted from a city loop to a Richmond direct express to Box Hill service so I jump on just before it leaves. Train takes off and a lady starts freaking out.

She and her 4yo(?) son heard the announcement late and have tried to exit, but the doors closed between him getting off and her doing the same. So he’s standing on the platform crying as she jogs down the length of the carriage trying to get help.

A young woman pushes the emergency call button down her end as I press the same at mine, and the train grinds to a halt. It’s ¾ down the platform but the mother can see her boy and he’s really starting to lose it.

A minute passes. Other people start looking up from their phones to see why we’ve stopped.

Past my window, through the dark along the tracks, jogs a bloke in a yellow vest. He jumps up onto the platform and forces the doors. The mother gets off. Hugs her boy. Big smiles.

Yellow vest jumps onto train. Says something into radio. Train starts up again.

We lost maybe 5min of travel time all told, and if I’d been in any other carriage I’d’ve silently grumped at Metro for making my flu-filled day worse.

But because I got on this door of this carriage, I could see the drama unfold. And my grumpiness about a sore head was rerouted into shared joy at the reunion of this lady with her little boy.

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