♦ First chapter ♦ Insert Plot Here ♦
The train wasn’t supposed to be here before 11 am, and there it was, standing right before me, and coughing up smoke on no end. I glanced at my book, letting my fingers run over the cover – then I put it in my back, tilted my head upwards, and straightened my back as I went on long strides to the train. Its door opened, and I looked around me for a second before going in. There was no one but me on the platform. I shrugged, hand going up to position my bag further up my shoulder, before stepping inside – glass doors closing behind as I did so. A dim lamp was lighting up the entrance, and I stepped before to the door beside to look through the window to another wagon. A frown made its way onto my face. The seats all looked unoccupied. My fingers went down to handle, opening the door ever so lightly.
The train started moving, and I almost fell backwards, hadn’t I held onto the door frame – or lack of it. I leaned forward back in position and went inside the wagon. Listening to the sound of the train running over the rails, and shuttering as there comes a bump. I grab onto one of the seat, seating myself as fast as I can, and putting my bag down beside me. Curtains are closing for the window, and my hands go up to remove them. We’re still in the tunnel. I lean bag In my seat, fiddles with my hand a little, and shifting around to find a comfortable position – it doesn’t happen. I lean over my back, opens the zipper and bring out the book yet another time. Might as well read it as I wait.
She’s seated in the train, when the train starts moving backwards.
Confused, I’m about to read on, when suddenly as if on cue, I fall forwards - Bumping my head into the seat before me. I squeeze my eyes together in pain, dropping my in the movement. I put a hand on my forehead, wincing. What happened?
My eyes moves to the window, only to get surprised when I see it – the train isn’t moving forward any longer its moving… backwards. My eyes flicker to the book laying in the floor. A coincidence?..
I seat myself in the seat again as the train starts moving faster, hands instantly holding onto the sides of it. The book is till lying on the floor of the train, and if books had eyes I’m sure it would be looking directly into my. I heave a breath, gulp down the salvia in my mouth. It was probably a mistake. The train will start moving forward again soon, I tell myself with a nod, but my knuckles turning white as they hold onto the fabric tells me otherwise. My eyes continuously look at the book. Somewhat curious. I could bring down a hand to snacth it really fast, I think, and then hold onto the armrest again. I could do that.
My hand loosens it’s grip, butt moving a little forward, arm stretches out – and one centimeter – aaand.. I got it!.. A smile of triumph moves the corners of my mouth upward. I flip it open, somewhat hurriedly aín fear off loosing my balance when not holding onto the chair. My eyes goes over the first line, and onto the next.
A message sounds over the speaker.
My eyes roam over the wagon, searching for a speaker and then…
“Next stop in 5 minutes,” A voice screeches, almost giving my goose bumps. 5 minutes? But isn’t next stop supposed to be in more than at 10 minutes seeing as the train isn’t heading towards the destination yet? And I thought I was alone on the train. Obviously not. Feeling oddly uncomfortable I contemplate of whether or not I should read on. My hands are almost squeezing the cover. The curiosity gets the better of me, and my eyes slumps down - Finger moving one tack down.
And unconsciously I nod, eyes skimming over a couple of lines till;
A door to the wagon pulls open.
My mouth forms a small o. tongue going dry, when the door creaks behind me. I don’t know why my heartbeat is speeding up, but it certainly are. My hands are holding so tightly onto the book that my nails are boring holes.
“Miss,” a voice suddenly sounds and..
“Hu-HUH?!” I screech, clamping onto my book, and for a moment it almost feels like me heart jump up in my throat.
“Are you okay Miss?” The voice sounds again. It’s a man, his voice is deep. I’m still not looking to the side – not looking who it is.
“fine, I’m fine!” I quickly say, perhaps a little too quickly, before a hand creeps onto my shoulder – sending chills down my spine.
“I’m fine!” I shout, flinching and accidentally looking at the male, who I somehow wasn’t expecting to look as normal as he did. Perhaps a little old-fashioned, but not odd-looking. He’s frowning at me. And I really wished I hadn’t looked.
“Miss I- I’m sorry, but I need to know your destination.” Oh. I feel my cheeks heating up with embarrassment, mentally face-palming at myself for being so jumpy. If a black hole opened under me right now, I would be more than happen to jump in and let it swallow me. Straightening my back I try my hardest to send the man a smile – albeit it being awkward.
“Of course… I’m getting of at Delala Main Street” I nod, and so does the man, fishing a block out of his pocket, and scribbling something down with a black pen.
“What year?” He tilts his glasses as he shoots me a questioning look. And I must have looked completely flabbergasted for a moment there.
“Oh,” I laugh, somewhat forced. “I was born in 1994.”
“So, is that’s when you want to get off too?” what?
“Excuse me?” I can’t help but ask, dumpfunded, as I look at the man, and he looks at me.
“Okay, that’s possible.” The sound of scribbling reaches my ears, then the sound of steps going away.
I rake a hand through my hair. That was just odd. Really odd. The speed of the train seems to have slowed down, I notice, looking out the window. I don’t need to hold on so tight anymore. However we are still in a tunnel… Did we ever get out of the first tunnel?...
The man is completely gone now, but I look back at the door once more just to make sure. Then I heave a sigh of relieve. The book is lying in my lap. I look at it. Directly at it. Who was the author of this story even anyway? I flip the book open, and search for a name or signature. I turn another page, but all there is is a black line. One black line and nothing else, not even the books producer, or year it was made, and I feel this crippled feeling going up my neck, as my hairs lift. I turn the book over - Looks at the backside.
Read to find out.
Nice..I think, sarcastically, I roll my eyes.
Suddenly the train comes to a halt, and I look out the window, curious. I’m here – at my destination. I frown. How was that even possible? Wasn’t the train going backwards? I stand up from my seat at the voice sounding over the speaker: “We have now arrived at our last stop; Delala Main Street.”
I scramble to pick up my stuff, put the book into my bag, for heading for the door. No way, was I going to stay in here all alone.
The door to the station pushes open, and I’m almost jumping out of the train –not sparing it even one glance.
“Thank god,” I breathe, relieved, as soon as I step onto the platform. That is, until I realize something – everything looks different. Familiar – yet so very different. My eyes widens noticeable at the sight. How come? My eyes flickers back to the train -.. or lack of it. I gulp. It would have been impossible for the train to leave without me hearing it.. wouldn’t it? I was getting confused, ruffling my hair. The air was smelling of smoke, sure, but that might as well be before of all the smokers passing by. My eyes flicker around like a deer caught in the headlights. Where were the graphitized walls? These didn’t even have a spot of paint on them, and looked much more new than those I knew and I couldn’t help but feel a little puzzled at that. And all the people, I hadn’t noticed before now, but somehow their style looked different. Not ugly just – not ..modern? I shake my head. Better find the entrance already, so I can get some fresh air. I nod at the idea, and my eyes go from the walls to the stairs not long away. At least I recognized them.
My heels click as they make contact with the flooring, echoing all over the station along with countless of other heels. It wasn’t yet crowded, but there was definitely a lot of people at this hour. I’m so busy looking around and taking in the sight of this place that I accidentally stumble into somehow. And now, there I was, in a very awkward position atop a man I didn’t dare see who’s face. Way to behave In public, I think embarrassed.
“Oh god I’m so sorry!” I hurriedly stand up, hands the man a helping hand. “I wasn’t looking where I was walking I’m so very sorry!” I continue, when he doesn’t take my hand, but stands up regardless.
“Are you okay?” I nervously find myself asking, as the man stands up straight before me, bangs hanging before his eyes, and almost covering his caramel orbs. Unknown to myself I gulp.
“Oh no, It’s not your fault,” the man eventually says, pushing his bangs away with a breath of air. “I wasn’t really looking either. I just got off a train a few minutes ago.” The corners of his mouth turn up, and In such a smile I just have to return.
“Oh,” I frown at my lack of words. Somehow he reminds me of someone, I have to admit, but I can’t quite recall who.
“Maybe I could, threat you a coffee for the accident?” The man proposes, pulling me away from my thoughts. I think about for a moment – his propose. He looked really nice – familiar even, what could go wrong?
“I..” my words comes to a halt, as someone brushes past me out of the corner of my eyes. Wasn’t that-?!” My eyes widens in disbelief – it was. It was really her – the lady who was at dinner at my house last night – a near friend of my mom.
“Wait! Uhm- Gwyn?” I call, and the lady stops up, curly hair swaying in the air as she turns around to face me.
“I’m sorry – do I know you?” she question, confused. I blink at her, was this a joke? Didn’t she remember me at all. Last time we met was yesterday? And I’m just about to scoff at her, when I notice her – really notices her. He hair didn’t have strays of grey in it – she barely had any wrinkles around her eyes – and didn’t her hair look longer too. I turn back to the man in a swish.
“Can you tell me the date – year. What year are we in?” I hurriedly ask, and the man immediately pulls his sleeve up to look at the timer.
“Excuse me, did you want something?” the lady – Gwyn asks, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s 1994..?” the man chuckles. “why are you asking that?” And I almost , almost, faint at the answer.
“oh my GOD!” screeches, franticly looking between them. “You don’t know me yet!” I shout, and the lady takes a step back. I slam a hand onto my mouth. As if I wasn’t awkward before, I feel my cheeks heating up with warmth.
“I’m so sorry – you don’t know. I just, thought you were someone I knew, but you aren’t,” I apologize, biting my lip.
“…Okay, have a nice day then..”the lady answers, before slowly turning around, and I don’t miss her crunched up face, before she does so. I huff, never liked that lady anyway, and then I dawns on me that the man is still standing beside me, and I quickly turn my attention to him – about to apologize to him again as well, when he speaks up instead.
“You seem quite..confused?” He asks, unsure, and was the worry pooling in his eyes, I flush, wave a hand before my face-
“Sorry about that, I’m kind of knew here” – because technically I’m not even born – “Yeah, I’m just a little frustrated is all. Sorry,” I apologize, smiling sheepishly.
“Oh, well. Coming to a new town is quite confusing,” he smiles at me, and I chuckle. You wouldn’t know. And then I get an idea.
“Actually, that cop off coffee you mentioned? Is the offer still available?” I question, and he grins at me –pearly white teeth coming on display.
“Of course,” he laughs, sticking out his hand, “My name is Rowan Hood by the way.” Row- oh god! No. The realization downs on me. This was Gwyn’s husband! But then why didn’t you seem to know each other?? – don’t tell me?! Maybe they were actually supposed to meet, but I.. ruined it?!.. This is young Rowan? How didn’t I notice? I think to myself, even though deep down, perhaps I knew it had something to do with the glint in his eyes and the cute ruffled hair he had and that really, really beautiful sm-
“You there..?” He, Rowan waves his hand before my eyes, with a smile that whispers to me – well, there’s nothing wrong with a single cup of coffee.
“Yeah, I-I’m Destiny, Destiny Springer.” I smile, taking his hand.
“That’s a very beautiful name.” And I feel my cheeks heating up further. No, I mentally slap myself. I was not getting flushed over a compliment from a friend off my mom. He is 40 now! He is not a 20-year old cute guy, and I am not getting flushed!
“Hah..Thanks,” I laugh – rather awkwardly, and he puts his arm out for me to take. I blink at me, before I realize – oh! I nervously hold onto his arm, gaze not leaving my shoes as I does so.
“You should hold your head high, Springer, else other people won’t be able to see your beautiful face,” I see him winking out of the corner of my eye.
“I know.” I reply, “That’s why I’m not looking.” My ears perk up with attention at the laughter that follows after that… unconsciously of course… He’s 40.