He knew the exact time it was to take place.
He’d studied the when and where for years and dreamed that it could be him; dreamed that he’d be the one getting on the train. Yet here was the irony of it all, it was his job to stop these things happening. He was a Guardian after all, a trusted position that his father and his father before him had held.
All the way back to his great, great-grandmother – she had been the first Guardian in the family – Good-Elizabeth she’d been known as, the scourge of the criminal classes.
Hadn’t it been Good-Elizabeth who tracked down and caught one of the time-squeezers when they’d tried to bump off that female Prime Minister? She’d also caught that gang who had been smuggling people to Golgotha to witness the Crucifixion. Sure there had been test trips to Calvary but no one – and that meant NO ONE – was allowed to stand on even an insect or the whole time cycle would be dealt a massive blow.
And now there was him: contemplating something that would have him arrested for life. Something that would bring shame on the family and may even upset the whole time ripple across the Universe – yet it was all he could think about. Day and night until it had become an unhealthy and destructive obsession.
He was going to take his chances as a time-squeezer – to hell with the consequences. Perhaps there was a universe out there where he really was the original one who caught the train that day.
He’d illegally visited the station on several occasions watching the two boys make their moves: as they came together, as they started the first conversation, and then as they boarded the train.
He had visited an old record shop in Mid-town and had bought two excellent condition copies of Rockin’ at the Hops by Chuck Berry, on Chess Records and The Best of Muddy Waters. He’d taken classes to sound exactly like someone who lived in that area in 1961. All he had to do was push himself (known as squeezing) into the time fraction, distract one boy and then pretend to be him.
At least that’s the way it should have gone – except it didn’t.
All he had wanted to do was to meet with Keith Richards on Dartford station on that fateful day when he and Mick Jagger hook up for the first time. His plan was that Mick would never get to meet Keith, instead he, Kevin, would be the one to get on the train and the world would soon get to know the remarkable Rolling Stones and their songwriter team of Keith Richards and Kevin Bailey.
So how come Kevin is looking out the window of the train watching Keith standing on the platform talking to some unknown guy? Worse still, Kevin is on the train staring straight at Mick Jagger and both have the same albums under their arms.
“My name’s Mick….” he says. “And you are..?”
“Kevin,” he says. “Kevin Bailey”.
bobby stevenson 2017