Drama Romance Sad

They held each other’s eyes across the platform, and her inviting gaze unchained his heart to race violently in his chest.

“Oh oh!!” panic now swooped in as she finally broke the eye contact.

“The train to… Sacramento… will be arriving in platform number… one… at… twelve… and… ten minutes, all passengers are required to stand behind the yellow line”. The mechanical voice of the omnipresent lady reverberated through the empty train station.

But this metallic voice, usually so warm and comforting, for it was the herald of the upcoming sleep, was now anything but welcome.

“Oh, my God I like her!” he studied her profile as she looked straight ahead.

He looked at his phone; it was five minutes past midnight. He must act now.

He started walking towards her, his heart beating in his throat.

She looked back at him momentarily as he approached, and he gave a small wave. Was that a shadow of a smile he saw? She looked back straight ahead and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

“Hey”, he managed to croak as she looked up from the bench at him standing beside her, “I’m here on behalf of my future self”. She looked at him inquisitively as excitement coursed through his body.

“It’s just that if I didn’t come up to you, I would soon be brewing in regret and unable to sleep tonight…” he wiped his brow from the sweat. That was only the tip of the iceberg for inside his winter clothes he felt like a furnace has been lit and sweat was running down his back and stomach, “and it’ll be pretty hard to get any work done tomorrow without any sleep”.

She looked down and smiled a shy smile and his heart almost burst out of his chest for joy. Was she blushing?

“Is there any chance I’ll be able to see you again before you disappear forever from my life on that Sacramento train?” he took out a shaking phone from his back pocket.

She reached out and took his phone, “I’m Jessica by the way, in case you were wondering what to call me”. She gave him a small lilting laugh to match her appearance.

“I’m Kevin” he reached out and carefully retrieved his phone as if it were a holy relic. The combination of digits she put in may just as well be the magical formula that will change his life forever.

The train was pulling in.

“That’s for me…” she stood up and gave him a broad smile, “Take care Kev…”

Ching! a message lit up the dark room and pulled him out of his sweat reverie.

“Uchh”, Kevin groaned and picked up his phone.

‘Only today everything you’ve ever desired is just one click away…’ he stopped reading and angerly tapped on the screen, putting it on Airplane Mode.

He rolled over in bed for the umpteenth time.

“Hey”, the image of her face entered his imagination once again.

“I think you are gorgeous”, he felt his heart beating wildly in his chest. “See, I was just over there all comfy in my ignorance of your existence; thinking of my bed and sweet dreams, but then you appear and all of a sudden, I need to choose between possible rejection or between soul crushing regret that sure won’t let me sleep”, she looked down and blushed, brushing her blond hair behind her ear.

“Was her hair blond?” he tried to remember, “maybe brown?” he strained his memory as she started to blur in his mind’s eye.

“Oh stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” he cried into the dark room as he got up to a sitting position and leant backwards into the wall; his head in his palms.

He reached out for his phone again, “four AM,” he whispered and shook his head. He will not get any sleep tonight.

Closing his eyes he went back in his memory to the earlier events of that night and sat himself on that empty bench in the deserted platform. He gave a full-body yawn and stretched himself comfortably on the bench, content, after a good day’s work, to wait for the train in a sleepy haze.

Putting his head on his palm he was about to close his eyes and wait mindlessly when he noticed there was someone on the bench facing the opposite tracks.

He picked up his head and turned around slightly on the bench to see whether this person took notice of his somewhat unbridled display of domestic conduct.

But never would he have imagined that this simple movement could extract him out of his hibernation-like stupor so instantaneously.

Like a drooping flag getting a hold of a gust of wind, so did he straighten up as if suddenly called to attention. 

She must have sensed someone was watching her and looked over her shoulder.

 They held each other’s eyes across the platform, and her inviting gaze unchained his heart to race violently in his chest.

“Oh oh!!” panic now swooped in as she finally broke the eye contact.

“The train to…Sacramento…” the woman on the intercom delivered the unpleasant message.

“Oh, my God I like her!” he studied her profile as she looked straight ahead.

He took out his phone; it was five minutes past midnight. He must act now.

“Why couldn’t you be going on my train?!” he cursed his luck.

 “Oh, why did you have to come now? I’m so tired!” he lamented.

 “I must do something! I must do something!” he stood up and looked nervously at the darkness beyond her from whence two headlights were soon to appear and take her away forever.

He started walking towards her.

“Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal? Maybe it was really only a glance?” he thought as he stopped short of her and made believe he was studying the options listed on the vending machine between them.

“Come on! Move!” he took another shaky step towards her.

The steps of another person stopped him in his tracks.

A middle-aged man wearing a frown walked to the now vacated bench.

“Damn it!”, Kevin made a little awkward dance by the vending machine as he stepped back towards it. “Great, now I have an audience”, he thought.

“So what!? So what!? So what!?” Kevin collapsed back into his pillow.

He walked briskly towards the woman of his dreams. “Hey, I couldn’t help but notice you”, he said. The man’s frown turned into a smile as gave Kevin a thumbs up of encouragement.

But that didn’t happen and Kevin instead inserted money into the vending machine

“Hello…” The robotic voice sounded extremely loud in the still of night. The girl fidgeted uncomfortably as she glanced sideways.

He bought a coke. He never buys from vending machines; he never drinks coke.

Just then the dreaded headlights broke from amidst the darkness and the girl stood up and turned away to face the upcoming train.

“Hey, excuse me”, he rushed over to her with coke in hand, “listen, I got to say to you that I think you’re real pretty and would love the opportunity to see you again”.

“How hard could that have been”, Kevin cried into his pillow as he remembered what he actually did.

He stared at the fast-approaching train, as he stood there frozen with coke in hand.

The train pulled into the platform, and he looked at her as she got into the train as if in slow motion; her hair fluttering by a sudden gust of air. She never turned back to look at the frozen man she left behind.

As the train pulled out of the station, he scanned the windows, but she was nowhere to be seen. The red tail lights finally appeared, glowing bright against the darkness of night. As Kevin followed them into the distance he thought they looked like red hot furnaces; mirroring the fire of regret raging in the pit of his stomach over what may have been.

Did she feel it as well? Was she disappointed? Did he hurt her by seemingly ignoring her warm gaze of invitation so crassly? For how could she know it had the power to make a mannequin out of him?

He followed the red lights of the train as it was swallowed back into darkness and took her away with it back into her nowhere.

October 21, 2022 15:07

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