DecisionsThe train shook rhythmically on the tracks. I sipped my coffee, wondering if I'd ever get to finish it. I didn't even really like coffee, I just drank it to stay awake. I was happy with the choice I made, I mean, it was the right decision. A man's voice on the intercom came on.
"Attention passengers, if there is a Mr. William Barrios on board, we need to see you immediately at the front of the train. We will be arriving in Nottingham in one hour on schedule."
The front of the train? I sighed, got up, and made my way to the front. The conductor was standing there with a land line phone in his hand, one hand covering up the mouthpiece.
"It's your father sir, and he's very upset."
"Father? I don't have a father my parents are dead." I took the phone.
"Who is this?"
"It's Arthur! What the heck are you doing! I leave for 5 seconds to go to the bathroom and you go to Chamounix without me? I had to find the emergency number for the train and buy my own ticket!"
"Arty, I'm going to Nottingham. And you had money?"
"Yeah 10 bucks, that was all I had and now most of it's gone! Now when you get to Nottingham, catch the fast train to Chamounix and I'll meet you there."
"I mean I'm supposed to be there!"
"How could you do this without me?."
"Arthur!" I had shouted, I hadn't meant to. I mouthed 'Sorry' to the conductor, who was watching. "I'm not loosing this promotion. After this meeting, maybe I'll go see Taylor."
"Don't you get it? This isn't just about you going to see Taylor, this is about you, mate. This is about changing the man who you are. I heard you talk about a boy in high school, bring him back. Bring back the one who fell for Taylor Brooks, and go get her!"
I sighed. "Arthur, I'm a businessman, and I can't blow off an important meeting for a girl."
"She wasn't just 'a girl' when I heard you talk about her before! Now you are a good man, William. Deep down I know you are. You're down, mate! And life does that, it knocks you down. People are gonna walk all over you, and it's all going to seem hopeless. And in those times, the times where it seems like darkness is winning, and you just want to grab your head and scream. Those times, William. They bring fighters. They bring men and women who will stand up when life knocks them down, they'll rise up and work to change things. For them, and for others. That's a real fighter, William, when you do things for others, more than for yourself. Your down right now, mate, your down bad. But not for good, so get up, wipe off the dust, and change things. For you, for Taylor, for me, and even for your parents." I closed my eyes, trying to block the tears. "Make them proud, make me proud. Go after her, William."
I dropped the phone and ran back to my seat. I grabbed all my things and didn't wait for the train to stop. I pulled the emergency brake and ran. I ran and ran and my feet were burning and my heart was pounding. I reached a place that rented out cars and got one as quickly as possible. I drove, for hours. Chamounix was farther than I thought. I was so tired, I had barely gotten sleep last night. My eyelids were closing, I had to sleep.
A blaring horn jolted my eyes open and I jerked the steering wheel to the right, almost having drifted into another lane. The GPS said I was about 10 minutes away. I called my friend Rob, who knew Taylor from high school.
"Hey Rob. It's Will Barrios."
"Will! What's up my man?"
"I'm good, but I need a favor."
"Yeah what's up?"
"Do you remember that girl Taylor Brooks from high school?"
"Um...Taylor...Oh! Yeah the brunette I remember, why?"
"Have you talked to her recently?" I said with hope.
"No man, I don't even have her number, sorry."
I sighed. "Alright well thanks anyway."
"Well how about her mom? I mean she still lives in the same house two doors down."
"You still live in Alabama?"
"Yeah buddy, my whole life! Here lemme give you Kelly's number."
I wrote down the number Rob gave me, then explained what I was doing and said goodbye. I was in Chamounix, and since I didn't know where to go, I just parked the tiny smart car and got out. I dialed the number, and as it was ringing, I started walking around. I got a jacket out of my bag and I was zipping it up, I looked at this utopia around me. Chamounix was breathtaking. It had the big mountains behind the town, and there was a statue of two men pointing at Mont Blanc.
"The first two men to ever climb Mont Blanc: The tallest mountain in Europe." I read off the plaque, I spoke a little French. Taylor must be happy here, she had always wanted to go to a small town with mountains. This was perfect for her.