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THE GIRL 'girl on the train' by Amy Hauser

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

I was traveling North to visit my Grandmother. She was quite unwell so I thought I’d bake her some biscuits to lift her spirits. I stood on the platform and waited for the 3:15 train. Usually it arrives on time, like clockwork. That day, the train arrived two minutes late.

I got on and walked down the narrow walkway through the carriage, looking for a vacant compartment. The carriage was dark, what little light shone through the windows reflected off of the bevelled mirrors that lined the carriage. I decided to sit in the far left compartment of the carriage.

I sat close to the corner and curled up in the seat. Above me was another mirror that sat between two scenic photographs; one image of a tropical beach, another of a sweeping canyon. There was something in the air that made me feel uneasy, so I started to sing to myself. One of those made up tunes you sing to comfort yourself when it’s too quiet.

I stopped when a man opened the door to the compartment. He was tall, wore a coat and tie and carried an old leather bag in his left hand. He smiled at me. I smiled back. But I felt cold.

He stood in the door way for a few seconds before taking a seat opposite me. He held the bag close to him, his hands trembling slightly. I shifted in my seat and pressed my body against the dark wood of the carriage wall. I looked out the window, but I could feel his gaze on my skin.

I couldn’t move. He shifted in his seat and leaned towards me slightly. Still, I could feel his gaze on my skin, creeping from my legs up to my neck. I couldn’t breathe. I felt his hand skim the hem of my dress ever so slightly.

The train stopped. I could feel him hesitate. Then he stood up and left.

I stayed curled up, glued to the wall, looking out the window for the rest of the trip. I didn’t move. I didn’t sing.

Image by Monique Roy

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