Monday, January 16, 2012

Jessypt Week 87: The Long Ride Home


Picture 1

Picture 2

Jessypt's Choice: Both

The Long Ride Home

The platform was deserted, not a person in sight. I knew others would be arriving, but I had come early in hopes of finding some peace, of finding meaning in the confusing swirl of information and emotions that had plagued me for the better part of two days. In one instant, one ring of the phone, one cheerful hello and somber reply, my world had changed.

Slowly, I paced up and down the platform, relishing the silence all around me. Thick, grey fog blanketed the air, an unwelcome reminder of the heaviness of the day. I stared at the railroad tracks in front of me, waiting and wishing I was here for a different reason. None of it seemed real.

I closed my eyes, the heaviness almost too much to bear. It seemed like only yesterday we’d stood in this very spot, arms wrapped around each other, sharing kisses and whispered promises. The air was gay, full of frivolity and cheer. All around people surged, their lapels decorated in red, white, and blue ribbons, and said goodbye. Posters of men with fists raised in the air and tattered American flags with smoke billowing behind bore the battle cry to which we all marched.

Avenge December 7!

You looked at me, a sad but proud smile twisting on your lips, and promised you’d come home, that we’d start our family, that we’d grow old, loving and living each day to the fullest.

But as I heard the train whistle in the distance, my eyes opened, and it marked not the fruition of your promises but the sound of your death, a funeral dirge come home.

The platform began to fill as the train came to a stop, steam blowing out with a hot gush that reminded me of the way you’d freely poured out your heart, your soul to me. I watched numbly as men in uniform, grim expressions firmly in place, hefted your flag-draped coffin from the train and began the slow march to the waiting car.

Immune to the voices offering words of comfort, I followed behind, your ring on my finger and your child inside, feeling lost and alone.