#178 Departure

by Van Demal

There is a train standing alongside ours, the window frames of each aligned. People are moving around in the aquarium-like atmosphere behind the double panes, finding a place, getting comfortable. Now and then a person will turn and look into our goldfish bowl, cast their eyes over the occupants of this other world, standing like a mirror of their own, perhaps wonder what it’s like on the other side.

“Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder?” I ask her.

Perspective starts to shift, symmetry undone. Our confused brains struggle to place the momentum, whether it’s our train that is departing or the other that has begun to drift purposefully away.

“That’s only true if you know you can meet again. You can’t fight an absence,” I plead.

I sit and watch as we move apart, waiting to glimpse a marker beyond our own narrow field of view. People are looking around them, searching for confirmation, hoping to be on the train that is first to roll onwards; not wanting to be the one that is left behind. Vicky watches me, her silence an eloquent storm in my head. Is this a face that accuses? I can count the slow beats of my heart by every tremor in my vision. Then I feel a judder that suggests it’s our train that has left the station, begun to move on to the next.

“How can you fight something that’s not there?”

“No tears,” she whispers, “what happens, happens.”

8 comments:

Meg Czaszwicz Burke said...

the setting of this is so wonderful to evoke the emotion of the character. Third paragraph is my favorite. Very well done.

Van Demal said...

Thanks Meg

Shirley Golden said...

Atmospheric and symbolic - well done!

Rachael Dunlop said...

Beautifully done. I like stories that take an everyday phenomenon we can all recognise and imbue it with symbolism. The only thing I would change is where you name 'her' as Vicky. I would have left the characters un-named.

Jen Harvey said...

Love the shift in perspective moment and the momentary disorientation. Lovely.

charlie berridge said...

We've all been on that train at one time or another. a very well put together composition. well done.

thousandmonkeys said...

Really draws you into the moment, and such poetic description. This is one of those stories that makes you see an everyday occurrence with fresh eyes, and leaves you thoughtful.

Wendy Edmond said...

An eloquent snapshot, I'd love to know more, what happens next. Beautifully written.