A Stop on a Train
William Brewster

I packed light and left myself plenty of time. The station was quiet, and the train was on schedule. As I waited, I lightly read a novel I borrowed from a friend, one written by a namesake of mine. There was a half-echo to everything around me. I believe I used the washroom two or three times while I waited.

It was dark when the train arrived, and I was comforted by the cold that surrounded me when I stepped outside. The car was over half-empty, and after storing my bag I had my choice of seats. I chose a window seat on the right, halfway down the aisle.

There was nothing to see out the window once we left the city, only my reflection blinking back at me. Once in a while I'd see an idle pair of lights, some car or truck out on the back roads. I wondered where they were going, if I should be going with them.

When the time came, I ordered coffee. I felt like a snack, but I didn't have enough change. The train came to a stop (not mine) and I saw two men standing on the platform. One, a short old man with a white beard bigger than his face, turned and hugged the other. He was middle-aged, a foot taller. The younger man then turned and grabbed a suitcase, making his way towards the train.

The older man stood for a moment, and then turned to leave, shuffling towards the parking lot. I wondered if my old man would be waiting for me at my stop. As the train started again he disappeared into the darkness. I was halfway home, but it hardly felt like it.

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