And I waited. But the clock ticked on. Every hopeless tick and tock filled me to the brim with doubt. She wasn’t coming. How could she? Neither of them had been there for me for the past 11 years. How could I have ever thought it would be different?
“Stupid.” The hot breath blew from my mouth creating a sort of steam releasing from my lungs and leaving a erasable mark in the air. I brought my head down, staring at the ground, and I shake it. I sniffle and wipe snot away with my sleeve jacket. I lay down on the wet pavement letting the cool air pull over me in a comforting blanket. I fall into a deep and meaningless slumber.
“You getting on, ma’am?” I squint my eyes and am greeted by the door of a bus. “Ma’am?” A big man’s grouchy face comes into focus.
I sit up and swing my legs over the bus stop bench. A blanket eases itself down my right shoulder. I shake my head at the man. The bus door quickly shuts, and he is off with his day.
I am settled with the feeling of discomfort of wonder. Who had been the person to lay me down and place a blanket over me. I get up folding the blanket carelessly and trek on.
Minutes pass and I am back at my flat. My ceiling fans are set to high speed even when it was in the middle of January. It feels colder in my apartment than outside. I slump on my rickety old couch. I hear a crunch. I roll to the side and beneath me reveals a, now crumpled, note. I flatten it as best I could and open it up.
To my dearest daughter,
I can’t try and see you again. I know the pain I’ve caused.
My one and only daughter, and I’ve messed up. I wish I could’ve raised you myself, but I promise you wouldn’t
have turned out as the sweet loving determined girl you are today.
I love you, but this is goodbye. I take a train tomorrow at
3:45pm for a new start. I hope some day you’ll forgive
me. I know it’s been 11 years exactly tomorrow since
we’ve seen each other, but you will do great things.
Yours Forever, Mom.
P.S Don’t put the blanket in the drier.
I look over at the oven clock. 3:15. I look back to
my note. “This isn’t closure. I need closure.” I rush out of my apartment, and to the train station.
“Excuse me ma’am!” I reach the train information center at 3:38. “What train leaves at 3:45?”
“Train 12 was supposed to but got moved up this morning”
The words thank you barely had time to escape my lips before I dashed away. Gate 10, 11, 12! The train horn sounded. I threw myself into the crowds of people. Receiving only the rudest of faces and the nastiest of words. The train began to chug on, “WAIT NO MOM!” I could’ve reached out to touch it.
It screeched to a sudden halt. Static noise came out of the loud speakers, “Due to weather we are unable to receive clearance for our departure. If we, one the behalf of E-Rails, could welcome the passengers to remain calm and disembark on to the platform. That would be much appreciated. Our travels will continue shortly. Thank you.” I am not able to contain my excitement. The doors open unaligned to the platform. All bodies began to cautiously leave.
I raced over to a bench and stood on top of it. “MOM?” I yelled, attracting a lot attention. “Jenny Pitman!” I yelled her name, the words seemed foreign to me. I hadn’t said that name in 11 years. I looked around at the unfamiliar faces. A black suit sticks out among around fifty people he has a small paper airplane embroidered into the suit chest pocket, I make eye contact, under my breath I say the words, “Jenny Pitman.” Still in constant eye contact. He ducks and tries to blend in with the crowd.
“Hey!” I run through the crowd to him. “Stop!” His suit is barely an outline. All of a sudden I stumble on someone's shoe. “Ahhh.”
“Oh my gosh are you okay?” A woman grabs my arm and helps me up.
“Where’d he go?” I spin around in search of the way he left.
“Who, honey?” She looks at me. Eyebrows furrowed.
“The man with the suit!”
“You were running that way,” she points behind me.
“Thank you.” And with that I sprint away.
“JENNY PITMAN.” I arrive at the train station exit where people are flooding out. Whoever that man is he’s gone now. I sit on a bench next to the entrance way, next to me lays a wooden box. Small enough to fit in a school backpack, big enough to catch my attention. I glance around before I snatch it and begin to unravel the rope. It becomes loose, and I quickly open the box. I pull out a small notes that just lays on top of wood shavings.
To my dearest,
I thought I told you that it was goodbye. Do not follow me.
You can’t make me stay. I’m sorry, honey.
Yours sincerely, Mom
That’s not fair she can’t do that to me. She can’t tell me to leave her alone after she’s never tried to see me before. This is my last time to see her and remember her. I look further into the box, digging through the shavings. Wait… The shavings! There’s a large wood factory and shop in town. I grab the box and spring up waving for a taxi as I get nearer to the street.
“Nelson’s Wood Barn. Fast please.” I slouch back into the seat.
8 minutes and 34 second pass, and we arrive. I pay and exit the cab. “Nelson’s Wood Barn” the sign reads, this place is famous for their carvings. The sidewalk is crowded, and I get shoved.
“Excuse me,” The man says. He keeps walking by, I look at him. He wears a suit.
“Hey!” I yell at him, he turns and on the front of his suit is a embroidered paper airplane. He’s still off to wherever he’s headed.I follow quickly after him. He leads me to an office building, a block away from Nelson’s. He disappears inside through sliding glass doors.
I inhale deeply and step inside. I approach the front desk, it’s a man wearing the same suit.
“Hello, I’m looking for the person who sent this to me,” I place the box on top of the desk.
“She didn’t want this.” The words come from behind me. I turn around.
“You.” I said, it was the man from the station.
“I know, I had no choice but to get out of there.”
“Why? Where is my mom?”
“I’m sorry, Jessica. Come with me.” And we disappear 11 minutes past 5.