(I Tweeted this bite-sized story over a 2-week period in 2017. The challenge was keeping each installment to 140 characters or less! I hope you enjoy it in its entirety. JRx)
Train platform. Cold spring morning. Waiting. Hoping this was the morning. The day I’d see Sarah again. Maybe even speak to her. Hold her.
Loneliness: a yoke today. A burden on my shoulders. Sometimes the darkness creeps into your heart and hides there. She’s never off my mind.
Memories. Slender fingers upturned. Back to back in her lap. Her voice on the mobile: matter of fact. Not unattractive. She enunciated.
“Will you kiss me?”
“Would you like me to?”
“But I don’t even know you.”
“Sure you do.”
The train jolts me awake. Alone. Work looms.
More memories. Floral perfume. Dark dress suit. Hair pulled back, held with ribbon. I fix my gaze on the grey horizon. Dreary. Urban. Work.
8am. The train skitters, rattles, clatters through a shimmering day.
I searched. All week. Each day. Sarah is nowhere.
It’s been five days.
“What’s your name?” I ached to know.
“Don’t spoil it.” Northern inflection. Maybe.
“That’s a funny name.” White teeth.
We float, cocooned.
Last interaction: “You like me. I can tell.” Eyelash flick.
“Yeah. Yes, I do.”
Sunbeams reaching through cloud. Hidden smile.
That was the last time we spoke.
Off the train she lingers. This is new.
Suddenly, she finds my lips. Minty breath.
She walks away grinning.
“Seen the person I was with last week?” My voice wavering. “Young lady. We sat together right here.”
Blank commuters: crazy man.
Next day. Still asking. “Name’s Sarah?”
Old man turns. “Sunday. Girl found dead, final station. Tragic. Think her name was Sarah.”
I hear those heels. See her float to her seat. Soft eyes. Calm and steady. Floral aroma. Of course, it isn’t her.
Darkness finds my heart.
New week. Grey morning. Emptiness my second skin.
Relentless journey up. Pointless return down.
Tired. So tired. Leave me now. Oh Sarah.
Her voice. “Hey stranger.” Shy smile.
Crutches. “Broke it. My foot.” A shrug. “Healing though. Slowly.”
“Sorry. That seat free?
Joshua Raven, novelist. Read about my writing and my life here. And have you discovered 5fingers yet?