The Girl on the Train (flash fiction)

To wait for the girl on the train. In my mind, I’ll do what the note says. I have a small notebook in my jacket pocket, and one of the pages in it says the same thing that my calendar does on the wall in the hallway.

We have the calendar on the wall so that we’ll remember to look at what day it is. It’s also to remember special days and special people. Where’s my special girl? Hmm. Oh, right. She’s coming to meet me at the station. I’ll go soon to the station to meet her there, too – to pick her up and bring her home. She’s been gone for a very long time, and I miss her. All will be better soon, though, because she’s arriving today.

I’m here, now, waiting just as I said I would. Where is it? Where’s the train? My watch tells me I’m right on time, but maybe I’m a little early. Watches do that, you know. They jump ahead magically at night when you’re not looking, or when you’re driving down the highway paying attention to road signs and whatnot instead of paying attention to them. A jealous watch? Can watches be jealous? I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s possible. That would be weird.

What’s that? A horn? A faint sound that sounds like it’s a’way’off in the distance coming down the mountains between the peaks, getting ready to get here where I am and where these other people are standing around waiting. I hope none of them are wondering about my jealous watch. But if they are, oh well. It happens.

It’s coming closer. Coming around the curve, still just a bit away – but much closer than before. The train slows as it approaches the platform, and I wave – at no one in particular and at everyone in general. But I’m really waving to my girl who is somewhere behind the glass of one of those big windows.

It slows to a snail-paced roll and then stops in the middle of the station. The front end of the engine is lined up without any issue down at the edge of the unloading area. People begin to get off the train and make their way down the steps.

As each person steps onto the long, gray concrete strip we call the platform, my eyes scan each face and head of hair for my gal. Not yet. Not yet. Nope. She’s not there. Where is she? Did I come at the right time? Did I come to the right station? Did I make my way here on the right day? Or, did she miss the connection? Did she get on the right train? I don’t know, but I want an answer to all of these questions.

Wait. There. In the middle. There’s a head of hair that’s a little grayer than I remember. Below it? Eyes…eyes that still glow like the sun in the day and the moon in the night. The nose…yep, same nose I remember. And the smile? Yes, definitely the same smile that was there years ago, last year, last month, and today.

Am I being forgetful, somehow? No, it’s just time. It creeps up on all of us and then stands upright, right next to each of us like it was there all along. Ah, it was there all along. And so was my gal, who has come on the train. Home. Isn’t the sunlight glorious?

# # #

This story was adapted from one of Marty’s upcoming books. For currently published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep

 

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