Fiction On Odyssey: Boarding The Broken Train
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Fiction On Odyssey: Boarding The Broken Train

A pair of friends meet after five years of separation.

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Fiction On Odyssey: Boarding The Broken Train
Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash

Cody’s coat clung tightly to his body. He hadn’t worn the jacket since college and began to regret the decision once he had left his apartment. A button had abandoned the cloth years before, lost to the streets of New York City. He stood under the early spring’s delicate sunshine, feeling the chill of the late winter air. Gravel from the old train station crumbled under his boots as he walked over towards the red pavement.

A red locomotive sat snug on top of the rusted and abandoned tracks of the station, carriages linked behind. Peeling yellow paint, a small cottage-like building sat upon the faded cobblestone of the station. The windows were covered with dust from the inside, so Cody was unable to clearly see the decorations that might have been left behind the year before when the station closed down.

He took a deep breath of the air and looked back to where the parking lot was. The lot was completely empty except for a pair of squirrels that were chasing one another.

Cody cursed under his breath, criticizing the stupidity he had indulged in. It could have been avoided with just a small consideration of reality, of true realism. Despite his lack of faith in her arrival, he took a seat on the steps leading to the small, sad yellow cottage. The ground was cold, and his patience was becoming thinner. It was ten passed two-thirty.

Wanting to hold on for just a couple more minutes, Cody dug into his coat’s pocket for something he had been saving for her arrival: two corona cigars. He clutched one of them with slight annoyance and lit it with a bit of difficulty. He didn’t like cigars much, but he figured it would be something to do together once she arrived.

“Nice jacket.” A voice sniggered from behind him. He turned around, his heart lifting from his stomach to his chest. Emma sat on the stairs of the locomotive but rose to her feet as soon as he caught a glimpse of her. “I was sitting in the carts. They’re open, you know.” Cody sat looking at her. Their gaze was constant and the air became thinner with each passing second. “I hope you have one of those for me.”

“Yeah.” Cody managed to get out. “Yeah, I do actually. Just thought you weren’t actually gonna show up.”

Emma held out her arms, presenting herself with a cringeful awkwardness. “I should’ve known you wouldn’t check the carts-”

“Yeah, why the hell would I have done that?” Cody asked, a smirk building in the corner of his lips. He took another puff of the cigar. Man, this is gross he thought to himself. Emma jumped down from the locomotive and walked over to him.

“How could I forget something we’ve had planned for five years?” She asked him, approaching him slowly.

“Because we actually planned this five years ago.”

“I tend to not forget these things.” Emma shrugged, finally stepping up to him. They fell into silence for a moment and fell in awe of the other. Emma looked older; her hair was shorter and her complexion was happier.

They embraced when they couldn’t stand still any longer. Cody smelt pine on Emma’s hair, on her green and worn jacket that she had worn in college. It felt strange to him to hold her again. They had only had a short amount of time together in school; a short week of romance that had ended, well, forcefully.

The mood that had been established- their cheeky sarcasm- was gone as soon as their embrace ended. Cody found himself shaking slightly, sensations throughout him panged like the years before that he couldn’t seem to quite remember. It was all coming back now.

He handed her a cigar, and she took it willingly. She fumbled her hand into his coat pocket to grab his lighter and lit the cigar as she headed back towards the train.

“Man, this is gross,” Emma commented. Cody smiled. They both climbed into the empty cart of the abandoned train.

They sat next to each other in a single row, in the back of the cart. It was silent at first, their words hard to find. Cody looked at Emma as she fumbled with her hands; a habit she had held onto since college.

Emma found the courage to look back up at Cody, and she sighed.

“What?” he asked her quizzically.

“Still blue.” She said quietly, A laugh followed when Emma realized the ridiculousness of her comment. Cody kept his composure, looking back at her without a flinch.

“Still hazel.”

The two looked away from each other in unison. The white noise of the train seemed so loud despite its inability to function. With a quick impulse, Emma leaned into Cody and rested her head on his shoulder. Cody let out a breath.

“Hope this isn’t inappropriate,” Emma added, and snatched Cody’s left hand, searching his fingers. They were bare, only decorated by the tiny scars that had made themselves appear throughout his younger life. “Not married,” she sighed. “Great.”

Cody laughed, and look hold of Emma’s hand before she could pull it away. It had been so long since he had felt it there with him.

The train cart was full of smoke from their cigars. The fog was a comfort; a way to cope with their meeting. It correlated with their years of hiding, their years of separation. Cody only wondered if it was all still there. He worried that she wasn’t the same. That she wouldn’t want something like this. Emma’s hand felt warm. Both of their hands were clammy and nervous, shaking.

Emma lifted her head to kiss Cody’s cheek. “Scotch.” She said. “There’s some bar down the block, The Dubliner. We both definitely need some scotch right now. Let me take you out.”

For the first time in five years, the pair was completely content.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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