Friday Flash Fiction: Mystery Lady on the Train

Mystery Lady on the Train.

Are you the lady who was

Travelling from Exeter

To Torquay on Friday

28th October? We met

At Newton Abbot and

Travelled on the 11.30am

Train to Paignton. You

Left the train at Torre to

Visit a friend in Torbay

Hospital. Would be so

Good to hear from you.

Yes actually that is me. And I could hardly forget you, ever. I have never had an encounter where my heart felt so touched. No that doesn’t do it justice, because you touched my soul, and for a week this soul has drifted between heaven and hell. Heaven because I was privileged to spent those hours with you; I’ve never been so happily delayed. Hell because I’d lost you so quickly. I thought I would never again see the way you wrapped your hand around a cup or smiled a thank you. By now you should be at home in Cincinnati getting ready to spend Thanksgiving with your daughters. I’ve read about the extreme weather out there and tried to imagine you shovelling snow from your front porch. But you’re still here in Devon? And you’re hoping to hear from me? Badly enough to put that ad in the newspaper. I left you my paper that morning; you said you would try to finish my crossword. I’d laughed and said we spell things differently here; you’ll need to use a pencil.

Why aren’t you in Cincinnati? Were you searching for me? Strangers on a train. No it’s just too clichéd, impossible, why would you, no why ARE you searching for me. No-one else left the train at Torre, no-one but you leant out of the window until it disappeared.

I’ll call now.

But where will it lead? Surely there’s no point, no future. I can’t leave here and you can’t leave your girls and the US. No, that was it, a brief moment. I could have bedded you in an instant, but have only the sense like a sigh where your hand hovered over my shoulder. I wonder how long I can keep that moment in my mind. For now I feel I will never forget, but we all say that don’t we? Until life gets in the way. I’ll still remember at Christmas when I imagine choosing your gift. You told me you’re an Aries so I’ll check your horoscope along with mine. By summer I’ll think of you less often, and accept that you probably just wanted the name of the book I told you about, a quick lunch before you flew home and that I fooled myself into thinking that you reciprocated.

Besides what would people think? Silly woman you can’t get involved with strangers. There are some weirdoes about. You’re so naive. At least it’s not as bad as when you pick up hitch hikers. My friends would all have something to say. We have more to say don’t we? Where’s that number?

Zero . . . seven . . . nine . . . five . . . five . . .