“You okay,” I asked, but she didn’t answer, she just sat and stared out of the windscreen. I pressed the accelerator and we moved off. “Strange place to be out on your own.” Again, she remained silent. “I’ve got some water here,” I pointed to the bottle in between the seats. “I haven’t opened it, help yourself.” She didn’t move, she just sat and stared. We trundled on through the bright tunnel. I wasn’t keen on tunnels, the thought of all that rock and debris on top of me made me a bit queasy. I turned the radio back up and tapped my fingers on the steering wheel, trying to forget the fact that I could be squashed by a whole bloody mountain any moment. I was also trying to think of what to ask the strange woman next to me. She was sitting up straight, her hands in her lap. She didn’t look or smell like a homeless or a runaway. She was in her early twenties, a nice, if slightly old fashioned jacket and straight dark hair cropped into a bob. I only had a side view but from what I could see she had a pretty face, though she looked a little tired. “Are you warm enough?” I asked, but again she said nothing.
“You okay man?” the attendant said. “You look like you’ve seen the ghost of the tunnel.”