Last stop on the line.
|The rhythmic clack of the train wheels on the tracks always takes me back to the past, reminding me how I should have been instead of how I was. I stare out the window, as skyscrapers and grimy industrial yards slowly give way to leafy suburban streets and then to cows standing around in fields filled with weeds. When I come out to Woodvale from the city to see Miranda, I’m always telling myself it’ll be different this time. I’ll talk about us, not about my job. I’ll talk about our future together, not about the next promotion I’m angling for. Yes, things will be different.
It’s okay that she doesn’t like the city, all those people, all those distractions. And it’s okay that I don’t like corn fields and sitting in silence on some front porch, listening to crickets chirping away at night. We’ll figure it out. It’s the Fourth of July weekend, a good time to celebrate something new. A new me.
I’m the only one in this car. Nobody’s leaving the city for the holiday weekend, at least not by train. We pull into Woodvale. Only two of us get off, which is not surprising. I mean, who comes out here? A broad-shouldered guy with a mop of curly hair and wearing a rugby shirt follows behind me, backpack slung over his shoulder.
There’s Miranda, at the far end of the platform. I wave my new straw Panama hat. She waves back. Her face lights up like fireworks. It looks like she’s cut her hair. I like it long, but that’s okay. Change is good.
“Babe!” I holler. Miranda walks toward me. She stops in front of me. She glances over my shoulder, then looks me straight in the eye and says, “I’m not waiting for YOU.”
(Word count: 300)