As a followup to my latest blog-post, here is the short-story I wrote years ago related to the “side-walk” theme. Also, this gave me the idea to post other short-stories at random intervals, ones I have written and ones that I might write in the future! Henceforth they shall be referred to as “story-time”.
So here goes, from a rather old archive of mine – from a time when my first name was different and I wasn’t quite as good with English as I am now. So please excuse bad grammar or curious expressions that will turn up in parts of this story. Seriously, it’s not very good, looking back at it, but I was like 16 when I wrote it so I hope that’s a good enough excuse – a story that I really enjoyed writing and have thought of fondly ever since;
She emptied her orange-juice in one draught, put on her coat and hooked the bag over one shoulder. The train slowed down and jerked its brakes leisurely just as she got up, making her sway and looking around uncomfortably at her fellow passengers. Well, not fellow, she didn’t know them, and most of them were female. Blinking and screwing her eyes up, she moved forward and grabbed the cold handle just before the doors. They opened, and the hateful tune of “dzoo-poo” hit her ears. She’d always loathed that tone, never more than when she was exhausted and cold – the way you get when you sit in a train for 5 hours. She threw an uninterested look at the bar, noting how sloppy the salads looked, and stopped to rummage around in her bag for her energy bar. She didn’t find it.
The strangest sensation ever hit her; it was like a wave of lukewarm air, pressing from behind, streaming all over her. It hit her so suddenly she had to steady herself on the shining new Coke-machine standing beside her. It kept on streaming over her, that soothing and yet exiting wave. Slowly, she turned around. There wasn’t anything there, though just for a split second, a strange light seeped through the ceiling of the terminals roof, then disappeared. For a moment, she was frozen in time, then she started walking again, slightly hesitant, pushing of from the gleaming bottles air-brushed on the cold automate.
He stepped through the swing door and embraced the night outside with depression. He drew a breath, feeling the air trickling down his throat in ice-cold silver drops, and almost throwing up at the mixed scents of the night; the boring woman to the right drenched in perfume, the little kid with the hot-dog and the always reeking stench of the gleaming cars crawling by. Stopping a cab, he gave the driver an address and slammed the door. The driver looked at him kind of weirdly, but he just ignored him and leaned back on the dirty, cigarette oozing seat, listening absent-mindedly to the crap that went on the radio. He’d just missed the most beautiful girl ever. He’d stepped of the train, seen her for the flash of a second and then lost her instantly in the crowd. He’d actually ran over the whole station, (like the jerk he was), but of course, he hadn’t found her. The cab jerked to a stop, he got out and paid. He crossed the street. Ten minutes later, he died from a skull fracture in the back of an ambulance.
“It’s okay honey, take a break now, I’ll handle everything”, her husband said, giving her a fond kiss and stalking of down the corridors. They both worked as doctors on the Rutherford Clinic, and she’d just seen a sad case of road-kill. It was always so violent, she never got used to it. And she’d seen beneath the blood that covered his face that the man must’ve been very good-looking. She wondered why the good-looking always had to suffer. It was as if God thought he could do what he wanted with them, just cause he’d given them the favour of a pretty face. Now she was overreacting. She’d always been weak for the dark guys. The fact that she could find a dead body attractive at all just showed how exhausted she was. The sheep-faced nurse looked into the room where she sat.
“You’ve got a private call, your son Dr.” the nurse told her dispassionately and left. The nurse had an affair with her husband since three months back, but it didn’t really matter to her. He was more loving than ever, guilt mixed with romantic dinners and long walks in his world. She pushed herself of the bench and picked up the phone.
“Mom, I’ve just…” the connection broke. “Shit”, he mumbled and shoved back the mobile into his pocket. It didn’t matter, he could talk to her later. He had so much time on his hands now. Life was still messy, but he’d straighten it out. All in time. He pulled his fingers through his hair and drew a deep breath, letting the night air trickle down his throat in small golden droplets like a blessing. The stars were paling in the east, you could see a vague light over the jagged silhouette of the city. The trees were soothing, crooning to him of the girl he’d met, the wonderful girl. He’d just been sitting there on a bench, considering to take his life, illuminated by a flickering lamp post, when she’d walked up, sat down beside him, as far away as she could get on the small bench. She’d opened her bag and picked out and energy-bar with a pleased smile. Then she’d turned to him.
“Hi”, she’d said.