Lisbeth Amaral could feel the anxiety coursing through her body as she sat there staring out the train window at the neighborhoods that they quickly passed. In her chest an agonizing pain throbbed
as she tried to get herself to calm down. But no matter what she knew that was something that would be close to impossible for her to do. So, what was the purpose of her even trying to? Her hand
brushed away a few strands of her long fiery red hair that had fallen in front of her face, as she let out a sigh.
"Only a couple more weeks to go and then I will graduate and never have to be on this train this early in the morning again." she thought.
The thought of her graduating was the one thing that brought her joy, even though she could still feel the stress from everything in her life. And because of it she would always think that she
would die before it would happen. That was the way she had always thought through whatever stressful situation she was going through. To her it was a morbid way to let everyone know the problems
she was going through. Even though most people who knew her, would look at her without reacting to her appearance. But Lisbeth would always be saying how she would die soon enough, almost like she
was inviting death to come to her. And maybe she was and she did not even know it.
As she sat back in her seat she felt the stare of someone watching her closely. She did not really think too much of it, because she always got men on the train staring at her. Believing she was
nothing more than an object of their desire. Even though she was a beautiful woman, she was tired of all the men's lustful glances and their sexual advances on her. And she knew why they did it. It
was not just because she was a beautiful woman.....but because she had forty double d breasts, which brought about such lustful attention to her. Yet, for some reason she felt there was something
different about this time though. Knowing that someone was staring at her and yet she felt different in a way. A cold sensation seemed to run down her spine, stiffening her body for a brief moment.
She wanted to look around, hoping to catch the glance of the person, but she found herself unable to do so.
"Just relax Lisbeth; you are just having an anxiety attack. It is nothing more than that." she said to herself under her breath.
She could not get the thought out of her mind that there was someone there who was watching her. Bringing about a trigger within her mind, she could not control. But a trigger for what? That was
the one thing that she was not sure about. Her eyes continued to stare out the window at the blur of passing neighborhoods. The whole time she had one thought that came to her mind, which she was
not sure if she really believed it or not. I am going to die soon from everything that I am doing. It was not that she was planning to kill herself, but with the strange pain that she had in her
chest and ovaries made her think that she would. Especially since no doctor knew what this mystery pain could be. So after going to the doctor and even the emergency room with no success, she just
gave up on it. Willing to endure the pain which would change from day to day for her. One day it would be unbearable and others it would be nothing more than a mild numbing feeling. But that was
not the only thing which made her believe that death was going to come for her. It was just everything in her life. The fact that she had to work such stressful and long hours at the Taco Barn,
where she spent her nights and weekends at, the responsibilities of the activities before graduation that she had to do, her family who was determined to keep her working around the house doing
everything and her boyfriend who she now hardly ever seen. Yes all that was building up inside of her to the point where she could not take much longer. The only sense of sanity that she had was
her ex boyfriend, who was still friends with her. He was the one that she would always call to vent out her problems too or even just to talk about anything. He was the only one who really knew her
as well as she knew herself. And knew with Mason he would not do anything to hurt her. He always tried to give her good advice about whatever was bothering her. As she would do with him as well.
For there was still a part of her that cared for him, especially after spending four years of her life with him , she could not help feeling that. And she knew that he cared about her too.
"Oh Mason, why can't you be waiting for me at the station?" she whispered under her breath.
She wished that because only when she was with him that she had felt like everything around her no longer mattered anymore. There was something about him that made it able for her to believe that.
And he was the only one that she was able to read like a book and really be herself with him. Not hiding her personality because of fear of what someone would think or judge her about it. But he
was not hers anymore and they bother have accepted that and moved on. Still, she found herself thinking about him, wondering if he was alright and what he was doing.
A couple minutes later the train pulled into the station in downtown Chicago, as Lisbeth let out a sigh. She knew at least the feeling of being watched would stop soon, and she would be able to
relax again. The only thing that she could think about was that it was just some guy, like so many others that looked at her with lustful glares, because of the alluring curves of her body. She
knew that she was good looking, for she worked for so long to look that good. So, she knew that she should not let herself get all worked up because someone looking at her in acceptance of her
attractiveness. That was all that it was, at least that was what she had said to herself, hoping that her mind would believe it.
Later she made her way through the crowded streets of Chicago; her eyes staying focused in front of her, as her held a large black portfolio in one hand, a large backpack over her shoulder as well
as the straps of her large tote purse. This was the one thing that she knew that she would be glad to never have to do again. Carrying around all these things to and from class each day. Even
though she knew that there might be a time when she would have to do something close to this when she would have a show for her work. That was..... (The same thought came again) if I don't end up
dead before I graduate. This was the one and only time that she started to wonder why she had thought that. Because she really was not thinking about it, but it was obvious that there was something
that brought it about. Of course, right now she knew that she could not concentrate on it right now. There were more important things for her to concentrate on.
Lisbeth stood in front of her locker later, looking into it as she felt herself drifting off into a somewhat daze. Her thoughts seem to stay on Mason for some reason, even though it was not really
anything that strange. For they had a strong connection with each other, even if it was only friendship. She started to wonder if he was alright. If he was happy with his life right now? She wanted
to call him, but knew that she couldn't because she would have to get to class. But for some reason she had the feeling that she wanted him right now. Not in sexual or romantic way, but she wanted
him with her for some reason. But she could not understand why she had suddenly felt like that. Figuring it was because of the exhaustion which she was feeling right now, even though her day had
just started. Still, she wished that she would be able to see him today, even though she had no idea why. Just to see him smile at her and able to touch his hand would make her feel better. How odd
it was that she suddenly felt something like this for anyone.
After the first class, which was a watercolors class, one of the few that she really enjoyed, her next class was a free class. And because of it, she felt the need to get out for a short time. Just
to walk, in hopes that that the pain inside her would stop for a while. And who would complain if she did anyway? So she left the school and started to walk down Michigan Avenue, the wind caressing
her face as she walked with a somewhat proud stride. Lisbeth wanted to get her head clear of everything that was bothering her, just so he would be able to think straight. Now though she kept
thinking about Mason....just like earlier this morning. When she stood at her locker she wanted to call him. Just to hear his voice for some reason. Now the same feeling absorbed her again, now
even stronger. It seemed odd that she would have this for her ex boyfriend.....rather than her current boyfriend that she did love. Of course her boyfriend was in school right now as well and she
could not bother him for something so trivial as to want just to hear his voice.
As she turned onto Jackson street, her hand is holding her cell phone, as she tries to figure out if she should call Mason or not. She knew that he would never ignore her on purpose, always answer
when she would call. That was the one thing that she appreciated the most about him. That he was always willingly would be there for her no matter what. She just was not sure if she wanted to call
him. Because she knew that he would probably be doing something important and she did not want to interrupt him from it. Still, she would always remember how he would have a pleasant tone and tell
her that she was not bothering him or interrupting anything. Mason’s kindness made him such an amazing man to her. It was then that she felt the phone vibrate in her hand, which shocked her for a
brief second. Luckily she did not let go of it and let it fall to the sidewalk. When she looked at the screen, it showed that she had one text from Mason. She smile as she thought it seemed strange
how coincidental this was. When she opened the message it said.....GOOD MORNING. HOPE YOU HAVE AN AMAZING DAY..... There was nothing more than that, but just that was able to make her feel
"Thank you Mason. I always appreciate your kind......" she started to type and then was interrupted by a stranger's voice yelling at her.
"Hey Lady.....Watch out!!!!"
Lisbeth looked up to see a bus coming right at her. Her heart pounded wildly and eyes widened as panic filled her soul. Without thinking she jumped out of the way and back onto the sidewalk. The
sound of the bus screaming by with its horn blowing as she screamed briefly but probably no one heard. There were a couple people around her asking if she was alright, as she bent forward, the hand
holding her phone grasping her chest right now. Her body shivering uncontrollably as the panic still gripped her, while she tried to figure out how that could have happened. She had always been so
cautious when she was walking around the downtown area or even anywhere.
"Are you alright?' someone asked.
"Do you need an ambulance?" a woman asked.
"No.....no, I am fine. I really have to get going." Lisbeth said as her body stood erect.
She started to walk down the street, her body still shaking in terror as she tried to collect herself. There was only one thought that ran through her mind...I could have died right there. And no
one would have been there to save me. No one. It was the one truth that she really did not want to except, but did and felt herself become shocked about it. Still there was something in the back of
her mind that suddenly spoke up.
"What do you expect? You said you were going to die before you graduated. So, why would you be so shocked when something like this happened?" A voice echoed in her mind.
Now the need to hear Mason's voice became even stronger to her and she knew that there was no way that she could really ignore it. She stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, people passing her by
without even looking at her, as she stared at the screen of her phone. Seeing that message that she had started to type that she would send. But then she just deleted it and pressed the button to
call his number. Even though she still had the uneasiness about bothering him, it was something that she just ignored it. At first all she heard was the ringing tone and she started to think that
he would not answer. But within that second she could hear the sound of his voice coming from the other end.
"Mason? Oh thank God, I got a hold of you." she said in a suddenly excited tone.
"Lisbeth, what's wrong? You alright?" his voice asked.
She was going to tell him about her brief brush with death but then figured it would have been better that she did not say anything about it. For she knew that Mason would be over concerned for her
and try to get downtown to be with her. And even though she would want that right now, she could not let him drop everything just for her.
"Yeah, I am fine. I am just having one of those days. It just feels good to hear your voice right now." she said as she started to walk.
"Where are you? There is a lot of noise around you." his voice said.
"I am walking around. I had a free class so I thought I would get out for a little bit." she said. "I need to get a dress for graduation."
"I am sure that you will find that special one that will compliment your beauty." his voice said.
She smiled, knowing that was the real Mason that she had loved and in a way still did, as a friend now though. The way he talked with such compassion was one of the many things that made him
"Thanks Mason. How is your morning going." she asked.
She listened to him talk about his latest endeavors which he had for the day and everything else that was going on in his life. The whole time her eyes stayed focused in front of her, as she smiled
and talked to him. That was until that very second when a large piece of a statue high on a ledge of the building fell. It crashed not even a foot behind her, making her jump and turn around in
terror again. Seeing the broken rubble on the sidewalk and realizing how that could have killed her. Lisbeth started to think that this was something more than just coincidence. Having her come
close to death twice already, and for what reason. That was the one thing that she could not understand. She knew that anyone would tell her that it was just coincidental, but deep in her soul she
knew that there was more to it.
"Lisbeth! Lisbeth, are you there?" Mason's voice said in a panicked tone.
"I am here Mason." she said as she continued to walk.
"What happened? Are you alright?" he asked franticly.
"Yeah.... There was a part of a statue that somehow broke off and fell to the ground. It fell close behind me and scared me." she explained, trying to sound calm.
"Lisbeth, you have to be careful. You never know what will happen. Being downtown or anywhere can be dangerous. You never know what could happen." he said in a worried voice.
"I am fine Mason. I miss you. I wish you were with me." she said.
Lisbeth had no idea why she told him that, even though it was the truth, she did not want to lead him on with anything. Still, she really wished that he was there with her, so she could look at him
and be able to joke around with him, like they used to. But there was something more than that with them, a bond which they shared together. Not romantic or sexual as so many people would believe.
It was something different, where they knew each other so well and she could say anything to him and not worry about it.
"I know I miss you, too. I promise that we will get together next week. Just like we planned and catch up on everything that is going on with each other." he said in a kind voice. "So besides that
close brush with death.....how are things with your classes?"
"Fine. I had a free class and wanted to get out for a little while. Get some air and walk around." she said trying to sound humorous.
"That's good. You need to get out once in a while and away from the stress that you are dealing with." he said.
Lisbeth liked when she heard him be so concerned for her, giving her his advice and what he believed he would do with whatever situation. And she never really ignored what he said; in fact she
always listened and followed it. Most of the time that was, if it sounded like something that she felt was the answer she was looking for. Never before had she had found a man that really and
honestly cared about what she was doing and everything in her life. Not anyone who was truly honest about it, not like Mason.
"Yeah. I need to get a dress for graduation. I hope that I could find something." she said.
"I know that you will. You always find something wonderful that compliments your beauty. "he said in a confident tone.
Lisbeth could feel his words touch her, like they had so many times before, and she started to wonder why they had broken up in the first place. And if there was a chance that they could get back
together. Even though she knew that could not happen right now, because she was involved with her boyfriend. And she had no idea if he was involved with anyone right now either. She knew that she
could not tell him that because it would make her seem like she wanted him back. The thing was she was not sure what she really wanted right now. Lisbeth was still trying to find herself, to find
her happiness (as she called it).
"You are an amazing man, Mason." she said.
"And you are an amazing woman." his voice said.
"Me? ........ Nah, I probably will be dead before I even get to graduate. All because of the stress that I am going through." she said in a joking tone.
For a moment she could not hear a sound coming from Mason, thinking that she might have lost his signal. And because of it, she suddenly found herself panicked for some reason. But then she heard
his voice, so calm and almost a whisper.
"Don't joke like that. You should never joke about death, because in a way you are taunting it. And if you do, it will come to you." he said in a tone that she had never thought she would ever hear
"I am sorry; I did not mean to offend you. It was a joke, nothing more than that." she said in a shocked tone.
"It's alright; just promise me that you will not say that again. Especially after what had just happened with you......you should see the seriousness about it." he said.
"Alright Mason, I will. I promise." she said as she felt her chest throb in pain.
Lisbeth figured it was nothing more than just her own stress that was bringing about the pain which she was feeling. But not just that but also the strange way Mason had acted on the phone. She had
top let him go, because she was going into one of the expensive clothing stores on State street. She started to feel uneasy about where she was, glancing around her at the few other women that were
in there. But it was not the store that was making her feel uneasy; it was what Mason had told her on the phone. How she should not taunt death, because it would it would find its way to her. Could
that really happen? Would that be possible? Two questions which stayed trapped within her mind with no answers to be found. Maybe because there was no answer to be found. But she was not going to
let it bother her, or try not to let it. Mainly because she knew with death there was no answers that could be found. And if there were no one would come back to reveal it. It was a morbid way to
think, but she knew that there were morbid truths in this world that everyone did not want to admit to right away.
Later that day, Lisbeth made her way to the train station, her body feeling so exhausted that she thought she was going to collapse right there on the sidewalk. She had found a dress she liked, a
black dress with roses on it, short skirt and a somewhat low backing. She knew it was the one that she wanted to wear for graduation. In a way she felt pride filling her, knowing that she found
something that made her feel happy. Now though, all that she could think about was trying to get to her train before it left without her. She knew that she had today off from work, so the night was
hers to do with whatever she wanted. The only thing that she could think of that she wanted was to fall onto her bed and sleep all night. Of course, she knew that was something that she knew would
probably not happen. For she had her responsibilities with her family that she could not ignore, which she never did. But also too, she wanted to call Mason again. To hear his voice again and tell
him about her purchase and just even joke around with him. She wanted to hear him laugh; actually she needed to hear his laughter. Not really sure why that could be, but just that was something
that she needed.
When she got on the train, she sat at a window seat, letting out a sigh of relief. She did not think about calling Mason right now, all that she wanted was to let her body relax. And to get her
thoughts together as well. Through out the rest of her classes, what Mason had told her haunted her mind. But it was not only that, but the two times that she avoided death already. Well, the first
time was her own stupidity; she should have been paying attention to where she was walking. Still, it seemed odd that those things happened to her. As the train started off, her mind continued to
think about what Mason had said and how he almost always made sense with what he told her. She knew that she had to hear his voice again. Even though she was weak and exhausted, there was something
about his voice that brought about a relaxing feeling to her. But before she could even dial his number, the phone rang. On the screen, was Mason's name and number. She pushed the button to accept
the call, then placed it to her ear.
"Hello?" she said in a soft voice.
"Hi. How was class?" Mason's voice asked.
"Alright. I found a dress that I really like. I am going to wear it for graduation. And my other classes were good. Nothing really exciting." she said smiling.
"That is great. You know I am really proud of you. You stuck with it and was determined to make it through school and you did." his voice said softly.
"And one of my teachers wants to buy one of my paintings. I have to get it finished tonight so I could bring it in tomorrow." she said suddenly.
"That is great. I always knew that you would make it. I believe in you Lisbeth. And I know that you will make it big in this world." his voice said so kindly.
She talked about the train number that she was on as she looked at the schedule, which she knew he would find odd. But would never say anything about it. Then she was silent for a brief second.
There was a moment where neither of them said anything, as Lisbeth found herself wanting to say something and knew that she could not hold back any more.
"Mason....." she started to say.
"I am here." his voice replied.
"I love you......You are my best friend." she said.
"I love you too Lisbeth and you are my best friend too." his voice said so tenderly.
"I should let you go, I have to text my mother on what time the train is coming into the station." she said, even though she really did not want to let him go.
"I understand. Call me later maybe. If you want, that is." his voice said.
"Of course, I will. Bye for now Mason." she said smiling.
"Bye for now Lisbeth." his voice said and then the connection was lost.
Mason Dupre sat in his living room watching the five o'clock new, as a strange feeling came over him. As if he knew that something had happened, even though he had no clue to what it could be. The
blond news woman started to talk about a train wreck that happened near Joliet, Illinois. His eyes stayed focused on the screen, wishing.....praying that it would not be what he feared it would be.
He had remembered that Lisbeth told her the number of the train, because she was looking for it on the schedule. And to his horror it was the train that she was on. The reporter on the scene said
how there was no survivors....and they had no idea how this derailment could have happened.
He sat there staring at the screen, his hand running through his short salt and pepper hair and then covered his hands over his face.
"My God Lisbeth.....why did you not listen to me. Why did you have to taunt death?" he said softly through his hands and then took his hands away. "I will always love you. You will always be my
best friend for all eternity. "
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