He had been on the train for sometime now. Half an hour maybe. A copy of The Selected Essays of Virginia Woolf was on the table before him. He sat back and put the pencil behind his ear.
The sun was warm yet oppressive on the right side of his body as it shone down on him through the window while the train moved past naked green fields exposed by the sun. It was February and the first day of brilliant sunshine they had had for sometime, which made him happy.
His mother had requested he come home for a few days as she was worried about him lately. He found it funny how adamant she was that he come back, yet here he was on the train heading back. It felt strange to him. Every time he went home he felt good. Until he was in his hometown. Then he felt less good and wanted to be back in the city. He found it funny when he thought to himself; this must be how Captain Willard felt.
The Virginia Woolf book laid there taunting him. It reminded him of her. He was trying to get away from her, but it seemed he could not. There was a man and a woman sitting on the opposite side of the train carriage a few seats down from him. He could see the man with his well-groomed hipster beard, but could not see the woman besides her black hair as she was sitting facing the man before her. On the table between the two of them were two Starbucks coffee cups with her name written on both of them.
Yes, she had followed him even on this train home.
Would he have noticed her name on those two coffee cups if he was not sad about losing her, he wondered.
An hour later the train stopped at the station. He took his bag down from the storage space and put on his seaweed green coat. As the train pulled into the station he looked out of the window to see if he could see his mother and the car. He could not. The sky had gone dark and grey by this time, which was a great disappointment to him, because he put a lot of value in the colour of the sky. His mood was always too weather centric. Everyone said it. There was nothing he could do to change that, he told himself.
The man and the woman with the coffee cups also prepared to get off the train. He wondered if maybe he had seen these two before, but he could not remember if he had. He stepped off the train and walked over to and through the ticket gate. As he came out of the other side and into the carpark he could not see his mother and the car still. He began to think, perhaps she is running late. Then he turned the corner and she was there.
– 19th February 2018
Words, Callum Martin
Image, Bethany Milam