The Girl on the Train

Michael suffered from an extreme case of a fantasy prone personality. He occasionally beat his wife and daughter unable to control his anger. In May 1967, he burned his house with both his wife and daughter locked inside. He was immediately send to the mental hospital to investigate his mental state. After 7 years of treatment, he got sent back home with prescribed medication and an assigned therapist.

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The mist rose from under the sweltering engine as its brakes were pulled; forcing the engine to come to a stop. The deep booms of its powerful thrusts were washed-out by the rattling existence of the civilians. Squeaks of shoes on the paving slabs, derelict candy wraps impinged to the ground and perpetual conversations of the ones who barricaded the pathways for others. This exemplar of human carelessness obfuscated the loveliness of the wilderness around us. It wasn’t particularly the presence of these people that created the light unease within me, but the inability to appreciate and observe; as a majority were obsessed and lost within themselves.

And so I stood there, on the side, rather keeping my distance, awaiting a journey through imagination or perhaps, just the train on platform nine.

 

2

 

As soon as the train opened its doors, the passengers rushed in to claim their seats. I grabbed my suitcase firmly and followed them. I began to rub my forehead anxiously as I proceeded through the vehicle with no sight of empty cabins. The idea of sharing a cabin with a babbling stranger sounded rather unpleasant. Eventually, I vapidly came across a secluded cabin and settled in. My cerulean aging eyes watched my trembling fingers attempt to place my suitcase on the rack above the seat; this was quite exhausting as my hunched back spoke for the spinal problems I continuously had to deal with. The beaming rays of the sun’s aggression complemented my view as I reached for my Sudoku. What I enjoyed about Sudoku was its simplicity, although I often found my mind wandering off into another reality. I purchased my Sudoku in the year ‘79, and even after 8 years, I haven’t manage to finish it.

“Oh lord,” I muttered as my glasses gravitated towards the wooden surface. Before my brain was able to process this act of motion and send neurotransmitters to command, the glasses already laid thankfully unbroken on the ground. As I bent my spine to grab my spectacles, my sleeve rolled up my arm exposing a cicatrix carved into my forearm. I couldn't quite recall the incident that caused this and rather wouldn’t have wasted my time trying. However, I took a second look, hallucinating blazing fire on my forearm; one blink and it was gone. My fingers rubbed my forehead leaving desperate scratches of the past, as I was chaotic over what just happened. I tried to ignore this reoccurring illusion by occupying myself with my Sudoku.  

 

 

3

 

It was 16:25, meaning the time to take my pills. But I wasn't in the mood to intoxicate my body like that; they evoked tiredness and inability in me. It’s been two days since I’ve slept and injected myself with the pharmaceutical wonder. And I loved it.

 

I leaned back against my seat, my tight eyes being forced open like breaking into a chest as I admired the delicacy of the landscape. A tenuous voice intruded my tranquil peace with words that appealed to me as familiar. “Daddy?” The voice reiterated as my frown illuminated into a chuckle of joyfulness.

“Aishling, my child?” I uttered as her illusory arms wrapped themselves around me, invoking me with a sense of blank warmth and compassion, “I-I would have never thought that I’d come across you here.”

   “I just- missed you so much,” her voice sobbed as she sat across from me. Her silky waves of gold swung from her skull to her elbows. The sunburst blended into her sparkling eyes, which were an unblemished combination of sapphires and emeralds. She was wearing a light yellow dress that teleported you to a field of sunflowers with a gaze. The dress had imprints that symbolized tragic love and innocence. Oh, how beautiful she was, just like her mother, Margaret. As I gazed at her, she appeared like the snow-white light that was unfortunately touched by sizzling violence.

   “How is your mother?” I finally interrogated, slightly scraping the skin above my eyes; it was a habit.

   “Ah well, she’s doing fine but it’s just not the same anymore,”  she sighed, pressing her head against the transparent glass. Her lips decayed into discomfort over the topic of her mother and therefore, I decided to avoid it. The unease escalated rapidly as our conjoint interest in nature blossomed into a euphoric discussion. I felt jubilance with every breath and I couldn’t help but just smile.

   

4

 

   The candy-butcher knocked on the door of my cabin, “Sir, would you like to make any purchases?” His body was positioned my way with a clear and direct look, “We’ve got candy as well as newspaper.”

   “Hmm, I will pass on the candy and-I already have a companion to occupy me with discussions about topics beyond your comprehension, ” I stated proudly, smiling in my daughter’s direction. The butcher threw on a puzzled look, his eyebrows knitting close together. How unsophisticated, I thought.

   “Well alright sir, enjoy the rest of the train ride.” His departure left a sense of emptiness and confusion. I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to make me feel. And I hated that.

 

We continued to converse, our words weaving into the serene sky. “Any captivating news from town since I’ve been gone?” I asked.

   “Well, no-no not really,” Aishling replied with a short pause, “not since the fire incident next doors... but that happened so long ago.”

   “That is true, May 1981 was it?” I questioned. I felt a repressing form of empathy in my chest. Even a thought of losing my precious would drive me insane.

   “Yeah, about that time,” she smiled weakly, “it truly was heartsore.”

   “Indeed, luckily that lunatic is behind bars,” I said angrily. She nodded and we both fixed our vision on the moving landscape. The following ten minutes of the ride were silent, not including a few remarks here and there. I felt soft joy over my shoulders relieving the build up tension in my neck. “If you excuse me, I need to use the restroom,” I said and stood up, heading out. She nodded softly with a smile, her pallid skin fading into nothingness.

 

 

5

 

I returned to my cabin only to find the absence of my beloved. My eyes searched in hope around as her name scratched out of my mouth, “Aishling?” I decided to sit and wait, she probably went to the restroom, I thought. As the hands on the clock continued to swipe counterclockwise, I rubbed my forehead impatiently. Unable to comprehend where my precise left, the vehicle was coming to its destination. I began to run around like a maniac, my back cracking with every additional step. “Have you seen my precious?” I asked the neighboring cabin.

“I’m sorry, what?” A middle-aged woman replied with an artificial smile hiding the judgment behind her wicked transparent door.

“My daughter...” I said.

“I’m sorry but I have not. Have a nice day.” She shook her head in denial and turned back to me as an invitation to leave. I was devastated, my beating soul resembled the petals of a white rose.

   “Candy-butcher!” I yelled as he turned in my direction. “Did you see my daughter?” His eyebrows repeated the same motion as before, knitting together.

   “I apologize sir, but there was no other passenger with you?” He said unclearly, placing his hand onto my slender shoulder.     

   “What do you mean, this must be a misunderstanding-” I tore the connection between us and rushed to the door of the train. The frustration within me rose as this just supported my observation about human blindness and carelessness. These creatures were just so dug in their own shit that they couldn’t even notice a living substance directly in front of them! It drove me off the highway like a crazy man. The vehicle was coming to a stop at the main station in Oregon.

 

6

 

I stepped down, my eyes scattered to all sides of the platform. The feeling of loneliness wasn’t suppressed even by the purity of the green hue of the outside, which was glorified by the floating blend of azure. Where would she go, I wondered. My light blue shirt was soaked in morbid liquids released by my body, which ached for the precious. I shouted the name again as my posture extinguished into a deteriorating wilted flower. I was so obsessed with finding her, I almost forgot about the unpleasant presence of the sweating bodies colliding into each other around me.

 

I rotated my body and gasped as my pupils dilated into a black hole. My eyes were fixed on the window, which I presume was my cabin’s. The glowing shadow of familiarity seated itself right beside the window. The vehicle announced its departure and I stood there paralyzed by what I saw. As the waterfall of sunshine fell onto the shadow, it illuminated into my melting heart. There she was. My jaw dropped heavily as she waved at me through the window. Her hands so delicate like cotton.  I began to drag my body along the platform to keep up with my precious as the vehicle steadily began to release hot steam and the sound of its decampment was known. She opened the window, sticking out something I called the newspaper. She pointed to an image of a family in front of a white house in the newspaper. I struggled to look closer at the picture of a family of three. The mother blinded my eyes as she looked like mother nature herself. Her glowing lush eyes and sweet smile. The daughter just as lovely as her mother, wearing a yellow dress with imprints of sunflowers. My eyes dropped down as I desired to have a family like that. I captured only the date of its publishing, May 1981. At last, my dreaming was intruded by the soft tranquil voice, “daddy it’s us!” My eyes widened and all of the sudden I stopped. I stopped chasing after her and just stood there. Her flowing language of the universe dissolved into a mere memory and the image of her mother's star kissed beauty twinkled in distance.

This was it, I thought. I was on the edge of cliff, ready to fall into desolation. But was I ready to live with what I did? The ones that my heart beat for. My beautiful treasures were gone. And I was the one who burned and beat the living life out of them. I felt another hallucination crawling over my shoulder as I heard their soft voices echoing. The hologram of their faces loomed out of nothing. “John, what have you done,” Margaret’s voice whispered. My mind created a deceiving silhouette of my loved one. I tried to reached out to feel her presence, however it felt like grabbing sole nothingness. Desperation was scratching the walls of my rib cage as my body shattered on the very grounds of the busy platform. I was a prisoner of my own mind, a prisoner in the abyss of torment. And there was nothing I could have done.

 
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