Feb. 24th, 2009

ravenedgewalker: (Default)
6.30am and I was freezing cold, curling my fingers round the rapidly cooling paper cup half full of lukewarm hot chocolate I huddled down further into my coat and tried to resist the temptation to check the station clock again. I failed. The minute hadn't even clicked round to the next, it did as I watched. 6.31am, still 30 minutes till the train. I debated with myself whether it was better to drink the rest of the hot chocolate or continue to use it to warm my fingers.

I saw him coming along the platform, shuffling and weaving from side to side and mumbling to himself. I huddled down further into the seat, burying my nose into my scarf hoping he wouldn't notice me.

Vain hope. He stopped in front of me, and I caught the smell of sour beer from his clothes. He sat down on the bench next to me - I shuffled as far away as I could, hoping he would take the hint....or...maybe that he wouldn't notice and be offended. He held out a hand. I shook my head - it was true. I had nothing. I'd counted out my last penny to get the hot chocolate from the machine. I had my ticket and nothing else - only a couple of euro cents that somehow I'd been given by mistake and I couldn't shift them. Not that I'd tried. I was still too damn honest for that.

His hand shook a little - he was actually cleaner than I thought, but his clothes were thin - thinner than mine. I gripped the cup tighter, feeling the warmth once more and passed it to him. Trying not to look at him. I didn't want to catch his eye, didn't want to talk to him, to accept his thanks. I slid my hands up into the cuffs of my jacket, wishing I'd thought to grab gloves as I'd run out of the house last night - a whole world ago now.

6.41am and the sun was coming up. I wondered about standing up and walking up and down the platform, but decided that moving would be too cold....the smell wasn't too bad. I resisted turning round to see if he'd drunk the hot chocolate, or like me was using it as a handwarmer.

I closed my eyes, too tired after being awake all night to keep them open much longer, I figured I was too cold to actually go to sleep, and even if I managed to doze the train coming would almost certainly wake me up.

6.55am, the sun was climbing up behind the trees at the end of the platform. I felt a sunbeam touch the end of my nose and crawl across my cheek, very slightly warmer than the freezing air. I felt the bench creak, it's slats moving back into place as he got up. I heard him shuffle off and was grateful he'd gone without saying a word.

6.56, and the announcement came "The train now approaching platform 1 is the 7.00 train to......." I didn't need to listen. I didn't care where the train was going, how many times it was stopping or where. I would take this train till the end of it's tracks and then - then I didn't know, and wasn't thinking about it.

I opened my eyes, and looked down the track, the train was inching it's way towards the platform, soon, soon we would be gone.

I looked the other way, my shuffling companion had gone from the platform - I was the only one sitting there in the cold. I glanced at the bench. The cup was gone too, there one the seat was a long slender thorny twig with small white flowers clinging to its end. I picked it up, and delicately touched the point of one of the thorns with a finger - I didn't feel it's prick, just saw the small red bead of blood welling up on my skin.

I licked my finger, tasting my blood, and checked to see if there was more blood - none, nothing. I tucked the twig into my pocket, crossed the platform and climbed on the train.

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ravenedgewalker

December 2010

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