Love on the Train

By Geraldine George

The woman sat alone on the cold, hard bench at the train station, watching the snowflakes fall gently to the ground. The platform was empty, except for a man sitting a few seats away. He was wearing a long, dark coat, a pair of jeans, and a black beanie, which partially covered his scruffy beard. He was holding a cup of coffee, and as he took a sip, a plume of steam rose from the cup, dissipating into the cold air. The woman couldn’t help but steal a glance at him. He was tall with broad shoulders and a strong build. He seemed to have a quiet confidence, maybe enough to command a room full of people. If he were Greek, surely his name would be Atlas, for he seemed able to carry the world on his shoulders. His kind eyes drew her in and pierced her soul. He looked like he had a story to tell, and she found herself intrigued by him.

She felt an inexplicable connection with the man and as she watched him, her mind began to wander. She imagined what it would be like to know him, to laugh with him, and to share her hopes and dreams with him. She pictured lazy Sunday mornings in bed, long walks in the park, and quiet nights curled up on the couch with a good book. In her mind, they lived a life together. They traveled the world, built a home, and raised a family. They faced challenges and celebrated triumphs, but through it all, their love only grew stronger.

As a train pulled in, the man stood up. He glanced over at her, a fleeting smile on his lips. Then he boarded the train and disappeared into the night. She blinked, bringing herself back to reality. Just as quickly as it had begun, the dream had shattered.

The station was empty once more, the snow now falling softly onto the empty benches around her. She looked at the fresh snow landing where the man sat and felt a pang of sadness deep in her chest, mourning the loss of a love that had never truly existed. She wondered what could have happened if she had joined him on the train. Would she speak to him? Would he speak to her? Maybe she’d see him again. And if she did, then by God’s grace she’d find a way to say something, anything to him.

As her train pulled in, it forced her to take a moment to compose herself, to remind herself that it was all in her mind. She brushed away a stray tear and stood up. She boarded and found a seat by the window. As the train began to move and the snow-covered landscape passed by in a blur, she couldn’t shake the image of the man from her mind, his smiling face haunting her every thought. She found herself wishing for a love like the one she had imagined, a love that was pure and true and everlasting.

She slowly began to accept that it was just a fantasy. The man was a stranger, a passing moment in her life that had left a mark on her heart. She knew that she would never see him again, but a part of her held out hope that maybe, just maybe, their paths would cross once more. As she reached her destination and stepped off the train, the cold air biting at her cheeks, she took one last look back at the station. As the snow continued to fall, she knew that it would always remind her of the man. And as she walked away, she couldn’t help but wonder if, somewhere out there, the man was thinking of her too. If in some parallel universe, their love story was just beginning. But for now, she was content to let it live on in her mind, a bittersweet memory of a love that never was.

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