It was a bright Sunday morning at the end of August. The summer holiday had passed and real life had once again taken over from duties from the dreamy summer life, although nobody wanted to admit that yet. The clear blue sky and the lingering heat of the sun proved constant reminders of better times, only recently condemned from the current to the past. He was still slightly dizzy and queasy from the night before, but felt the warm rays of the sun and the late summer breeze so he paid it no heed. It had been a good night with many drinks, friends and laughs, the last night of the holiday season, and he was now on his way back to real life. A life of books and hours and hours of studying, but doubtlessly also a life with a whole new slew of parties and good laughs. In a flash of cosmic clarity he realized how delightfully easy-going his life was, and smirked.
He entered the shop next to the railway station and bought a bottle of water. His body thirsted for healthy fluids after last night’s debauchery. As he looked through the smudged shop’s window while he was given his change, he realized the train waiting outside was his, and was about to leave. Run or not? Ah fuck it; he was not going to hurry himself. Not today. Today was going to be all about relaxing. Thinking back on one of last night’s splendid moments, he drifted away dreamily. A warm voice pulled him back into reality, calling him “sir… sir… sir! You were gone for a second there, weren’t you? No worries, it’s not like I’ve got any other customers to serve”. The face of the cashier hovered in front of him with a warm, beaming smile. “If people are really this friendly and easy-going, this town must be really small” was all he could think.
And it was. Judging by the train station, at least. This was by far the smallest train station he’d ever seen. In fact, calling it a train station would be quite the exaggeration as that description conjures images and expectations this …. Place … could never live up to. It had exactly two rail way tracks, a platform on either side with exactly one steel bench each. A faded sign indicated his track was going north, the opposite side south. He sauntered over to the information display and stared at the schedule absentmindedly. One train every hour going north, one train every hour going south. A real hub.
He sat down on the bench and felt the cold hard steel. A feint roar grew in the distance. He squinted and saw a train approaching at high speed. Must be an intercity. He watched as the train rushed by him with an overwhelming roar. Compartment after compartment rushed him by in a long blurry streak, his eyes troubling themselves to focus. And then it was gone, off into the distance. Peace returned. At least they get some traffic here.
He looked up, and there she was. Out of nowhere, she was there. On the bench directly opposite his, on the other side of this abomination of a train station, sat the most beautiful girl he’d ever laid eyes on. Staring, he saw everything and anything and nothing. Immediately, his mind shot into overdrive.
In her blonde hair he saw the sun rising from the ocean, golden strands flowing over her gently shaped shoulders. Her basic outfit he judged a perfect understatement of her simple beauty. She wore slender, casually threadbare jeans and worn-out sneakers, coupled with a snug white top with long red sleeves. A goddess of simplicity. “What would her name be?” She looks a Sarah, or maybe a Michelle. Or, maybe a more esoteric name… an Isa, or Ava. Sasha and Ava… perfect. “Who is she?” She looks fit, dresses with a distinct careless touch. Clothes to live life in. “What is she doing here?” We’re in the middle of nowhere. Maybe she visited family. But why leave so early in the day when you’re with family. She doesn’t seem to have urgent business here, she’s sitting there perfectly calm and still. I don’t think she has a boyfriend, although any guy would be lucky to have her. She cannot have one. She simply cannot.
“What would she want out of life?” A girl in such clothing… an artist maybe. Surrounding her is an air of indifference, yet she also exudes a certain determination. She seems focused, locked in a certain path. He’d always had a thing for ambition and determination.
He hadn’t loved in years, felt unable to reconnect with anyone after his last girlfriend had left him so broken-hearted. She had simply vanished. The horror of not-knowing what had happened to her had gnawed at him for years, until he had just accepted she was gone. Never thinking why again. To ask that question would be to invite insanity itself into his home. Never again. And now this happened. This sudden, this instant… crush. He felt… alive, young again, nervous and happy at the same time. This was ridiculous. But this was happening. Within a second, he’d found love again.
He looked at her again and this time, their eyes met. For an instant, he froze and just kept looking. His cheeks flushed red and his mouth broke into a nervous smile. His eyes darted away. Brown eyes. He wasn’t sure if he could really tell from this distance, but then again, she must have brown eyes. He loved brown eyes. And he loved her. So she has brown eyes. Brown eyes, as big as a deer’s. Deep pools of thought and intelligence. She had looked at him. Through him, even. He had seen something in her eyes. A deep understanding, a calm acceptance of the world as it is. He loved her for it.
She got up, sending him into a frenzy of terror. “She cannot be coming this way?” Would she really? Not knowing where to look, his eyes darted towards the big clock hanging from the ceiling. Ten fourteen, the clock said. Sixteen minutes until her train shows up and I’ll never see her again. He heard a feint roar growing in the distance. God have mercy if she comes over, please don’t but oh Lord, please do. She was up, waiting for something. She looked at him. What was she doing? In a moment of insensateness, he got up too. He felt like a fool immediately, but to sit down again would be even worse. He had to keep going now, now that they had started this together. She took a step forward. So did he. He smiled nervously, encouraging her and him both. If there was ever a moment, it was now. Just say hi. Just when he was about to open his mouth, a lot of things seemed to happen at once. an Isa, or Ava. Sasha and Ava
He looked at heThrough him, even. He had seen something in her eyes. A deep understanding, a calm acceptance of the world as it is. He loved her for it.
She got up, sending him into a frenzy of terror. “
“H-“ he uttered. His brain stumbled, his mouth stopped mid-syllable.
She bolted forward.
In a second that seemed to last forever, his mind struggled to piece all the information together.
The feint roar had grown into a wholly absorbing, world-encompassing roar of rage. The low roar shifted to a high shriek, a mechanical scream of machinery,
A rain of blood sprayed his face and clothes.
The world shrieked and screamed and hissed and then grinded to a halt and wrapped itself in silence. It was a different kind of silence. What was once a silence of peace and quietness was now a silence of dread and terror and slowly but inexorably growing horror.
She was gone.
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