Her

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
He doesn't know her but she draws his attention.

Submitted: January 01, 2017

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Submitted: January 01, 2017

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Her

 

There was something about her but no matter how hard you pushed him, he would not be able to say what it was. It wasn’t as if her knew her at all – she was just some random stranger waiting for a train – but his eyes kept straying towards her.

 

She wasn’t beautiful, not in any classical sense; you wouldn’t even call her pretty. Her hair was shoulder-length, tangled, in need of a good brushing. It was what his mother would have called mousey; too dark to be blonde, too light to be brown. Her skin was pale to the extreme, making him think that she might be ill in some way. Her eyes were too big, her nose too long and her mouth too thin. She wore no obvious make-up.

 

She was not tall, even with her boots that added an extra couple of inches. She was thin, fragile-looking, again reminding him of sickness rather than from any fashion-consciousness. Her clothes looked like they could belong to someone else, or were perhaps some thrift shop purchases. The trousers were shapeless. The shoulder seams of the jacket were a couple of inches down her arms and the cuffs were turned back as a way of coping with too long sleeves.

 

There were other people waiting on the platform, plenty of them, but it was to her that his eyes returned, time and time again. He thought about approaching her, just to say hello, but he didn’t want to make her think he was some kind of creep. And, the truth was he was shy.

 

She looked so sad. There were dark shadows below her eyes, which were red-rimmed and teary looking. In fact he got the feeling that it would not take much to make her burst into a sobbing heap; that she was struggling to hold herself together. What was her story? He couldn’t help himself from wondering.

 

He could hear the distant approach of a train. It was going too fast to stop so it had to be an express, rushing through the station along the tracks. He could see it now, still appearing small but growing by the second as it hurtled nearer and nearer.

 

When his eyes next went to seek her out she was no longer in view. He turned his head further, thinking maybe she had moved off along the platform; he looked the other way in case she had slipped past him. There was no sign of her but she could not have just disappeared. There was nowhere that she could have gone to in just those few seconds when he had been distracted by the train.

 

When the screaming and shouting began, realization dawned. She had jumped, was on the tracks, and the locomotive speeding along had no chance of stopping in time. She had known that when she jumped.

 

The collision when it came was not heard, only marked by the increasingly loud volume of screams, the running footsteps of the transport police, but all of it was too late. He wanted to vomit – why? Why hadn’t he approached her, talked to her? He knew that maybe, just maybe, a friendly voice could have made the difference; that he could have delayed her actions. Maybe he could have saved her life.

 

And now he is left with the guilt of a stranger’s death.


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