Doubtfully

I have never been too fond of trains and I usually avoid them. Never really had many fond memories while going on a long journey. There had been a few times when the train engine was busted and took hours to get repaired; at times the tracks were off place and hence the journey came to a halt. I can manage the shakes that don't let me rest fairly nor do I mind the noise when the wheel clashes with the tracks. Many aren't too fond of aisle chair, neither am I. But there have been way too many times that I was stuck for hours on my seat to prefer this mode of transportation.


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And, here I am, boarded on the train, sitting and hoping that the journey goes smoothly.

I'm not nosy, I like to keep it to myself. Bother no one, get bothered by none has been my favorite pastime along with watching movies and listening to music. I hadn't even realized that I forgot to mention the thing that I dislike most in a train - turning my back to the destination, not seeing what's in front of me but seeing what falling behind. Thankfully, this isn't one of those days. Settling in nicely, I'm waiting for the seats to get filled and wait for the train to get moving. The busy platform, people rushing in to get on board and hawkers screaming on top of their lungs to sell their items - it's a sight to contemplate. I pick a magazine to occupy myself.

I spare a glance to the person sitting face to face, something tells me he's not the talking type but can't say the same about the one beside me. He keeps staring out the window resting his chin on his left hand, anyone can mistake his expression to boredom but that's highly unlikely - I'm having difficulty reading his emotion.

The train start to move - wheels crashing with the tracks, thuds and jerks.

People are hurrying towards the doors, it's a commotion. The guy is completely oblivious to all of that, keeps his gaze towards the far end. There's sadness yet hope mixed in with longing, slow and steady breath and no movements at all. Is he waiting for someone? After a while, I realized I have been staring at him - with that thought, I go back to shuffling through the pages of the magazine. Yet, figuring out his expression seemed more interesting than the colorful pages.

Didn't I say I'm not the nosy one?

The guy looks away from the window and sighs, his wait was fruitless. Anyway, I will mind my own business. The train has picked up it's pace, running like bullet. And again I'm looking at him staring blankly at the roof. Wait a minute, did I overlook his puffy bloodshot eyes and slightly red nose? That's bothering me a little. Maybe something terrible had happened to him. Your guess is as good as mine (as of yet). Putting my magazine down, I decided to distract myself with music and the beautiful green scenery outside leaning further in my seat. It's going to be long journey.

His face is void of emotion - the once complex mix of emotions are wiped out. Neither has he spoke to anyone nor spoke to anyone since he got in. I get up from my seat to stretch my legs and get a cup of coffee. Curiosity got me this time and I walk back to my seat. As I slowly descend to my chair, we exchange a smile. I'm still hesitating to ask him.

"Is... everything alright with you?" I finally ask.

"Oh. Oh yes, it's nothing. I'm alright. Just..." He doesn't finish.

I can see he wants to talk but he's holding himself back.

"Business?" I ask again.

He smiles half-heartedly. "No. A getaway of sort." he says.

"Ah. A good time to travel. The weather seems nice." I try to make conversation.

"I suppose." He says.

And we pause. We both go back on doing what we were doing.

"Can I borrow your magazine?" He asks.

"Sure." I smile.

"Thanks."

He shuffles through the pages for a while and puts it down. Restless.

"I was waiting for someone." He finally says. "She didn't show up."

"Did she miss the train? You should give her a call." I suggest him.

"I don't think that would be necessary." His voice is filled with sadness. "I got my answer I suppose."

"Trouble in paradise?" I ask.

"Far from it." He says.

"I usually don't meddle in other people's business but if you want to share, I'm all ears." I, somewhat, assure him.

"I don't think I'm ready yet." He adds.

"I understand. Let's talk about something else." I chip in. "Is this your first visit?"

"No actually, I'll be driving to the outskirts to my cabin. It's a 2 hours drive from the city." He's slowly getting comfortable.

"That sounds like a long journey. 8 hours on the train and 2 more in the car." I say.

"It is but it's worth it. The cabin is in the middle of the woods. A little hard to pinpoint but I enjoy spending my time there." He pauses.

"It sounds lovely." I say.

"I was going to take her there, show her around and spend some time together so we can decide what to do next but..." He checks his phone. "And she says she's sorry." He sounds bitter.

"What are you going to do?" I ask him.

He looks out the window. "Move on, I guess."

"Doesn't sound bad. A fresh start."

"A fresh start." He doubts.

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