Trainspotting

There's always more than one side to every story.

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2. Avery's Point of View

Wrapping my shawl closer to my body, I stroll causally towards my destination. There's no point in rushing myself, after all I should make the most of my last night on Earth. 

I contemplate my surroundings. The route that I have used for years has become mundane due to repetition and I am overwhelmed by the details that I have missed. Even in the orange glow of the streetlamps, the trickling stream beneath the ancient bridge is beautiful. It twists and turns through the trees at the side of the road and the reflections of the pebbles dance and swirl in the light. I cross my arms on the railings and lean over them to examine my reflection in the water. 

My chocolate coloured hair hangs over the edge and blocks my view. I tuck it behind my ears where it falls to the bottom of my shoulder blades. I washed it before I left the house and it shimmers in the impromptu mirror. My cerulean blue eyes dart back and forth across my face, digesting everything they can see. My cheeks are plump and rosy, sat on a jawline that is hidden underneath my violet scarf and the button nose that has always been the subject of my discontent does not bother me much tonight; I'm trying to be at peace with the world, even for just a little while. Naked, my lips are hardly visible in the reflection. A smile creeps its way onto my face and I realize that without make up I don't actually look too shabby.

I close my eyes and let my head roll backwards as I take notice of what I can hear. The stream below me trickles and the humble waterfall downstream splashes as the water tumbles over the edge. Focusing in on something else now, the gentle buzz of the streetlight reminds me of summers spent out in the fresh air surrounded by bees and charming flowers.  In the distance is the sound of traffic, although at this time of night it is a minimal din compared to the usual roar. Other than that the world is silent. 

Reopening, my eyes adjust once more to the amber bulbs and I saunter once more toward my goal. Not very far now, the same bridge that overlooks the alluring stream will be my jumping point; I've known that for a while now.

Within the space of a minute I reach it. The part of the bridge that surveys the train tracks. I place my palms on the concrete and lift myself up- an easy feat for someone of my size. I shuffle forwards so that my pasty white legs dangle over the edge. I re-position my shawl once again so that it covers my shoulders and rest my hands upon my knees. 

The 12:15am from Bury to Oldham should arrive in around ten minutes. I can wait that long.

Another few minutes pass without a problem but then from behind: "Are you alright, love?" My eyes close and I curse myself for allowing so much time. I reopen them and turn to face the speaker. An elderly woman stands on the edge of the pavement, her brow furrowed and her mouth turned down at the edges. 

"Me? Yeah, I'm fine, thanks. And yourself?" Play it cool, play it casual. Nothing's wrong here. 

"Yes, thank you I'm fine... If you don't mind me being so bold, what are you doing out so late?" The concern in her voice is obvious.

"I'm just waiting for the train," her eyes widen and I'm forced to give a playful smile "oh no, not like that!  I'm a trainspotter and the... er... Flying Scotsman is due along this line any minute now." That lie was so obvious, she's sure to catch on. 

"Oh, well, if you say so. You shouldn't really be up there though..." Apparently she believes me.

"I know, I know. It's just that I'm so small and I can't really see it properly from on the pavement." More lies.

"Okay then. Don't you be staying out for too long though, you'll catch your death of cold if you do." A friendly grin.

I allow a chuckle "I won't. Only another few minutes now. Have a nice night." 

She smiles and hobbles off, walking stick in hand. Half a minute passes and I look around again. My heart sinks a little as I spy the old woman behind a car at the bottom of the bridge, obviously on her phone. It appears that my lies failed after all. 

Snapping back around to face the train tracks, my head lifts expectantly as my ears register the whistle of an oncoming train. At last. From within my chest I feel my pulse accelerate, not from fear but from ecstasy. This would be the escape that I craved and coveted. Smoke appears and the light on the front of the train comes into view from around the corner. I shuffle eagerly forward as I run through a few final arrangements in my mind. Tommy is at Mum's, I've left the note on my bedside cabinet and my passport is in my trouser pockets. 

I estimate that it is doing 80mph but I'm not sure. A new, amplifying commotion comes from behind me. I turn once more and see the blue lightning flashes of a police car. Poor old woman. She appears anew from behind the car and her hands are shaking visibly. A pang of guilt rinses its way through my heart as I mouth the word "sorry" to her. 

The train is approaching rapidly and is showing no signs of stopping. Perfect. 

I place my feminine hands on the edge of the rigid wall, close my eyes... and jump. 

My fall through the air is swift and I hit the tracks at the perfect moment. There is no time for the driver to apply the brakes and... Tommy. My precious Tommy. 

The train runs straight over my fragile frame and my existence is over in a nanosecond. 

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