The walk across the elevated platform then down the escalators was messy. Rob and Elaine had been playing tag on the phone all morning so when he rang again, despite the awkwardness, she cradled her phone on her shoulder and pressed her left ear against it while tackling a pillow under that arm and with her right, dragged her two-wheeled cabin luggage and tried to not spill a freshly pressed juice that was filled to the brim with a week’s recommended dosage of sugar, no more wholesome for the antioxidants and ‘super’ ingredients optimistically touted on the colourful disposable cup. Her cabin luggage was the cheapest option at the Reject Shop that morning after her heavy rucksack’s flimsy stitches unravelled at the straps before she made it to the station. Continue reading →
The carriage was full, travelers standing with shoulders, backpacks and elbows pressed, a carnival of scarves and beanies as the game-attending crowd created jostling hues of their allegiances.
With the approach of their stop, the ebb and flow of chatter reached a crescendo of deafening laughter and chanting, morphing the game crowd into a single organism, leaving Elise feeling even more alone on what was for her a milestone journey.
Replaying the moment in nightmares and obsessive thoughts of waking hours, she hadn’t imagined the station being a welcome sight, but with the crowd’s departure, there was momentary relief in tears no longer forced back by a levee of laughing eyes, blurring the tracks and trees like rain streaking the window, her sobbing gasps filling the void they’d left as the train crawled past the spot marked by cellophane and ribbons of a bouquet long gone.
Pulling back the curtain of canvas and hanging Wisteria, Ella considered the day ahead. There was a certain predictability in the routine of others that let her know roughly what time it was, and whether it was a weekday or weekend, if she lost track.
The jogger, a slim woman always dressed in black that made her look slimmer still, stood out with her swatch of red hair that she neatly tied back in a ponytail with a single braid, a metronome keeping time to her pace. She slowed to a stop in front of the kiosk, stretching her arms up toward the sky- grey in its non-committal stance, leaving her guessing whether the forecast from yesterday’s paper should be trusted. Picking up her pace after grabbing two bananas and a coffee, the jogger approached with her usual gait, prompting Ella to once again imagine what she’d say if someone asked, rather than surmising her story and leaving her to translate their misinterpretation in looks of pity, charity or just plain indifference. The best she’d come up with was an enigmatic