Don't Become a Statistic.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
Short Story from Year 10.

Submitted: September 17, 2012

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Submitted: September 17, 2012

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The subway appeared, a blur of silver, white, and blue, almost out of thin air in front of us. Everyone jolted inside, teachers and students alike, bodies jumping for a split second before stepping away from the edge of a platform- everyone except us.

Bodies still, I knew we were both tranquil as before. Earphones in, music drowning out the reality of the world, we, in fact, hadn’t moved an inch. My eyes, formerly glued to the grime-encrusted Coca-Cola bottle stuck in the crevice of the damp railway, glanced over to Neewen. Her eyes stared ahead, in the trance that I was still so familiar with, until the great metal beast had vanished as suddenly as it had come- suddenly, it was as if the entirety of our class had let out some collective, held-in breath as the beast disappeared and the evident silence, penetrating through my earphones, seeped through us.

I knew Neewen was a broken soul. After all, it took one to know one, and we, over the past days in the great city of my dreams, had reached a closer understanding of one another. She turned her head from staring at the tracks, hands jammed in her pockets, as the long sleeves were draped over her wrists. She flickered her eyes over to our startled peers, who thought they were being cautious, yet they never realized how far inside the real danger festered.

I knew we were thinking of the same thing; the gaze in her eyes, the trance, the hypnosis of watching the speeding metal wreck in front of us- I knew that feeling far too well. The thrill of knowing that one more was coming out of the darkness, the lights widening and surrounding you with comfort until it was in front of you before you could process its existence. The wind throwing your hair behind you, the wisps out of the tie flying loose, the metal groans and moans of a beautiful monster.

The poster glared at me, bright yellow and mocking.  The strangeness of it coming from the obscure, soundless place; it was a new piece in an ancient puzzle. I looked across the silence again and stood, nearly paused in time. The stupor of the trance again, silently oozing through your being, encasing you in pure immobility and hush air, telling you, asking, how bad would it be?

Just to step- to take one step and see. See the lights right at you, gazing into your humanity before taking it before it for its own. To get the chance to feel the wind whipping your past behind you, no future to see, but to have the last moments in your hand, to have the outstretched hand of power in your control.

The silence would become you; it would be more than just something you wish you could understand. Oh, what I would have given.

Oh, but what I would have lost- if it had been her, not me, to be the beast’s next victim, to be the one who had the chance to know the unknown and never repeat it. She, a broken soul, would be free from herself, from her past, from her future. The ache in her eyes seemed unbearable to watch. But a world without Neewen would just be a world without the understanding that only she could supply.

We were both rocking back and forth inadvertently, the music obscuring our senses of reality. Her head leaned forward, a bit more forward than for safety, and a world without understanding seemed to close.

“Wenny,” I called. She immediately snapped out of it and blinked repeatedly in my direction.  My eyes said it all, but I still nodded my chin to the poster, the new piece of the puzzle, mouthing, “Not yet. I still need you.” She just gave me a solemn smile of struggle- struggle that I knew far too well.

The bright yellow text bore through me, mocking our insolent intentions.

Don’t become a statistic. 147 people were struck by Subway trains in 2011. Stay away from the edge of the platform.

It frightened me to my core, though, when the next metal beast roared to a stop before us, and neither she, nor I, had flinched.


© Copyright 2017 Kathryn Thorne. All rights reserved.

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