Tuesday, February 01, 2005

track headed home

note: any resemblance to any real life person or situation is purely confidential and for the purposes of this fiction only. Thank you.

-Sophie I.

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I wonder what would have happened if I'd have made it on the train. I hesitated at the bottom of the escalator, caught my breath, wondered what car you were on. And in that second, the doors snapped shut. Next stop, Renfrew. The train whooshed by as I ran to the platform, dropped my book, bent to pick it up. You were in the very last car when I looked up, standing among empty seats. I knew you saw me and I knew you were hurt.

So yes, I wonder, what if I had made it onto the train looked for you at the next stop? Or going back further, what if I just hadn't lost my temper to start with?

But this isn't about that one decisive moment; this isn't the kind of story that will take you down the path of what could have been. Not every hesitation is meaningful. This is simply about what happened.

We were talking about how we're never going to grow up. Twenty-six is the new eighteen. I always liked to push your boundaries, so when I slapped you and you walked away, I though, "He'll come back." But you didn't, did you, and I followed too late.

I left the station and dug the last $1.59 from my pocket and I went to the McDonalds that we went to when we first met. Bought a coke. I wondered if you’d call me, if you'd burst through the door, if this was over. I wondered if it was simply hurt on your face as I saw you speed away on that track headed home. Or were you just pushing MY boundaries, wondering how much I really loved you?

I'll never know, I guess. We never talked. And two weeks from now I'll lay this letter on your freshly dug grave. Tonight I'll try to read it to you, but you won’t be listening, you won’t talk back. Hum of the breathing machine, eyes that will never open again.

You didn’t grow up, you were right. Unless you did, right before it happened. Tell me, did that stupid drunk motherfucker mature you? When he ran that red light, when he skidded on that ice, did he kill a boy or did he kill a man? Maybe I'll ask him what you looked like when the light went out of your eyes, and what you looked like seconds before. But nobody will ever know how you FELT. I hope you know now, wherever you are, that even through all the bullshit, I loved you. And I'm sorry.

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