Train Tracks

April 6, 2009
By , Washington, MI
Have you ever stood on the train tracks and watched a train steam toward you. You watch motionlessly as it thunders toward you and you know with absolute certainty it will hit you. You stand there frozen, listening as the wheels grind against the tracks. Slowly in your head you count down, 5 the breaks squeal, 4 the tracks rattle as the train thunders closer, 3 you can see the driver waving for you to get off the track, 2 you can feel the heat from the engine 1, you squeeze your eyes and brace for the impact. You wait and cautiously open your eye, that’s the feeling as I lay on my bed his head curled on my chest. I felt like I was standing there waiting for the train, I knew it was coming but I stayed there not out of fear, or because I was tied to the tracks. I stood rooted there because someone else’s life hung in the balance, I was tied there out of a need to save his life even if I had to sacrifice my own. His dark eyes studied my face, “What’s the matter?” he murmured tracing the circles under my eyes.
“Nothing,” I sighed hiding my face behind my arm, “Just thinking.”
“What are you thinking about?” he asked still trying to read my expression.
“Nothing in particular.” I lied feeling my throat close. Not saying anything his chocolate eyes continued studying my face and I could tell he didn’t believe me. I closed my eyes feigning sleep and trying to escape his piercing gaze. He knew me too well, and I could tell he wasn’t buying it. I slowly opened my eyes watching his fingers rub circles on my arm his dog tags jingling as he moved. Catching them between my fingers I ran my fingers over the name feeling the rough lettering and thinking. There was so much still to do and enjoy and so little time left I closed my eyes shutting out the pain. What was I going to do? I squeezed my eyes tighter and breathed a deep sigh, then opening them watched as the light from the lamp glittered a crossed the metal. How can one little piece of metal change so much? How can it one piece of metal weigh so much, but their burden weighing a person down until they can hardly move or breathe. I continued running my fingers over the metal carefully avoiding his eyes. It was useless really he would know what was bothering me even if I didn’t say it, but still I tried to push all the thoughts from my mind I didn’t need to make this any harder than it needed be on him. I knew if he could he would stay, I savored the thought stay here safe. Then shut the thought down, that was not the path we were destined to walk together. Our road was much bumpier, twisting and turning, and sometimes splitting into two different roads whose ways were over grown with burs and brambles that tore and pulled at us, in the end though the paths always rejoined I thought to myself for our sakes they have to.
I opened my eyes and tried to clamp down the tide of rising panic, I looked over watching as his dark eyes studied me taking in my expression he reached over pulling me closer. Curled against his chest I took a deep breath, as his hands rubbed circles on my back. “I love you,” he whispered in my ear, “No matter what happens I will always love you.”
“I love you too” I murmured back, “No matter what.”
Laying there I watched the train come closer, still just a dim smudge on the horizon, but already I could feel the vibrations and sense the pain, as I stood waiting patiently on the tracks.





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