Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fiction: Derailed

I wish the damned train would come.

I’ve been sitting here for hours, I think, and it just won’t come. She said she’d be on the train and if the train doesn’t come then I won’t know if she’s on it. Makes sense, right?

Makes sense after our last fight anyway.

She told me that I was just like my father, always fussing with everything, always pushingpushingpushing to have my way and I told her she was one to talk, she was just like her father, hell she looked just like him and after all the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A double hit, that, since she couldn’t eat apples, had some kind of weird allergy and would puff up like a blueberry if she ate one. We found that out the day we drove up the coast and stopped the farm stand to eat cider doughnuts, oh man, that was a scare.

I wish the damned train would come. The rain is running down my back.

She got really quiet after I told her she was like her father, then told me that was the last straw. She began throwing things into a bag and wouldn’t talk to me anymore. “Never kid a kidder,” I said, knowing she wouldn’t go far.

Guess I was wrong that time.

Hey, can I borrow a cigarette? When she gets here I’m sure she’ll have one I can give you.

I reached out to her to try to stop her and she pushed me. She pushed me, can you believe it? When things were better we used to wrestle all the time, she’d push me, I’d push her, we’d always end up on bed and man, those were good times. I can still smell her hair, taste the sweat on her skin, feel her smile in my mouth. We’d laugh together until we weren’t laughing anymore, laughter turning into moans. Those last laughs were the best ones, the kind that just trail off into gasping, your stomach muscles hurting from so much joy.

So she pushed me and I fell, landed on my ass, my arm smacking the wall and my watch broke. The crystal shattered. I knew it was a cheap old thing, but it had been a gift from my sister, the last thing she gave me before she died and I got up and screamed at her to get out get out getoutgetout and she did. The watch hands froze when she left. See? I’ll always know when she was gone.

I think that’s when the train is due.

She used to come home on the train, this one I think, I’d meet her here. Sometimes I’d have flowers or a bottle of wine and we’d walk home together. The rain never bothered me then. Nor the snow. She’d point out each individual snowflake and those walks home took forever.

I hope everything’s okay, the train didn’t crash or anything. They’d tell us, right? Not like I’m trying to worry you, I’m sure whoever you’re waiting for is fine, will walk off the train smiling and happy to see you.

You’re not waiting for her. I know that. If you were you’d have that look in your eye as though the world were right and you, well,  not to hurt your feelings or anything, you look a little like me, a little like the world just isn’t what you thought it would be.

I wonder if I read the schedule wrong. A train passed by here a little while ago and she wasn’t on it, but six of one, half a dozen of another I guess, I can wait for the next train. It’s not like I have anything else to do.

After she left I waited around, for oh, days I guess. I kept the house clean, cooked dinner, her favorite – she loved eating breakfast at night. Finally I started coming here, to see if I could find her. I don’t know where else to look. But if you see her, tell her I’m sorry. Tell her I’ve changed, though maybe you don’t have to mention how. Tell her… Oh, you know.

You don’t know the time, do you? I swear that train must be late.

(c)2010 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. Oh, it's heartbreaking. There he is waiting for someone who probably isn't coming back.

    Beautiful way with words.

  2. Bet she's sitting in her new place somewhere, smoking way too many cigarettes, wanting to come back to him and thinking nothing will have changed so it wouldn't work even if she did...

    Started off disliking him, but by the end was willing her to come back for him! I love the way the words run together when they're shouting at each other, and the ending absolutely aches with loneliness and longing.

    Beeautifully written. :-)

  3. Great short Laura. I mean the voice and the tone, just perfect.


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