The gears of the train ground to a screeching holt jolting me from the light slumber I was just settling into. Gazing out the window, the small lights of the train station formed large yellow blurry fireworks against the inky darkness of the night in my sleep-hazed eyes. Wiping away the small pool of drool that had begun to crust at the side of my mouth, I swallowed the harsh dryness of sleep away and stretched my arms above my head stifling a yawn.
Looking around me, I noticed the carriage had emptied considerably since I had drifted off. Glancing at my watch, I was surprised to see it was 4am. I’d slept for close to seven hours and I was only a few hours from home. This trip was going much faster than expected! Reaching into my bag, I grabbed the worn paperback I was currently immersed in and settled back into the seat, pulling my legs up underneath me and resting my head against the cold glass of the window. The raindrops smeared across the glass and down the train, as if they were in a frantic race to see who could reach the ground first and become a part of nature once again. The area where I rested my head quickly fogged up as my body heat combated the frosty chill of the rain, restricting my view of the dark countryside flashing by completely.
Sliding my bookmark out, I began reading; my heart and mind ready and eager to continue on the tumultuous and traumatic journey the characters of my book had taken me on so far.
“Well well well look what the cat dragged in.” A snide comment ripped through the air to my right. Looking up, I saw the sneering, ugly face of Emily, my ex boyfriends new whore. Behind her stood Freddie, looking appropriately abashed and embarrassed to be in the situation. Avoiding eye contact with me, he mumbled a comment to Emily about sitting down.
“Sit down?” She screeched. “In the same cabin as this filthy mole? I’ll catch diseases just from breathing the same air as her! I cannot believe you ever, ever went there.” Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and counted to ten. Maybe if I ignored her long enough she’d go away.
“I know you can hear me bitch.” She snapped. Nope, not going away. Sighing I opened my eyes and looked at Freddie standing behind her.
“Control your woman Freddie.” I snapped, “And get her the hell out of my face. I shouldn’t have to deal with this when you’re the lying, cheating bastard who fucked up.” Relishing the shocked look on Emily’s face as if I’d slapped her, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my earphones. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to continue getting on with my life – the one I put back together better than ever after you two destroyed it.” I said pointedly and determinedly, shoving my earplugs in my ears roughly, closing my eyes and pumping out some loud, angry music.
Blocking out the world, I kept my eyes closed for a long time after that; hoping Freddie and Emily didn’t notice how white my knuckles were as I clenched my fists or the sheen of liquid that had sprung up over my pupils as I let her words – and his lack of words – affect me just a little bit too much once again. I’d worked so hard over the past three months to pull myself together after what they did to me – after Freddie ripped out my heart and fed it to Emily for fun. I couldn’t let them bring me down now. I was so close to being over it forever.
Regaining control of myself, I let my fists relax and settled back into the chair, opening my eyes to check my watch once more. Only an hour left thank god. Reaching for my book I had carelessly dropped to the ground, I shut off the music and tried to relax into the storyline and get lost in the world of fiction once more.
Until her screech interrupted my escape once again. Just hearing her voice made me cringe; it sounded like someone was dragging their nails down a chalkboard. I don’t know what Freddie saw in her with her dirty blonde hair, tattooed arms, whore red lipstick and ready-for-desert combat makeup. It honestly baffled me how he could go from sweet, pure little old me to… that.
My breathing shortened in frustration and anger as I caught wisps of her shrill shriek through the cabin. “Bitch”, “slut”, “ugly mole”, “wish she was dead”. The insults just kept coming, thick and fast. Looking out the window I saw the sun was finally starting to rise through the thinning rain in a brilliant red haze; its rays still held captive like my anger by the curve of the earth. I could see the next stop coming up quickly, it’s hard, brick exterior still shrouded in the shadows of night. I had no idea where we were or where to go from here but making a split second decision, I grabbed my bags and headed towards the exit door at the opposite end of the train. I just had to get away.
Watching out the window as the train ground to a stop I longed for the outside. The icy slap of the cold morning air grabbed me as the doors whooshed open and pulled me outside onto the old platform where I stood and looked around, taking my first, real breath in the past few hours since they got on. Studying the signs on the walls, I realised I was still a fair ways from home. But that was ok, I was sure there was a bus I could catch at some point in the day. Anything was worth it to be out of that carriage.
“Holly!” I stopped and turned as I heard my name being called behind me and saw Freddie running down the platform frantically trying to catch up to me. “I’m so sorry,” he huffed as he reached me, slightly out of breath, “she shouldn’t have said those things to you. You don’t deserve it.”
“You’re damn right I don’t deserve it!” I responded, my anger slowly building back up inside of me. “How dare she insult me when you’re the one who fucked everything up? You’re the one in the wrong here.” Shaking my head, I turned away from him. “Just leave me alone Freddie. I’ve had enough, I’m so tired of all this. It done. Over. Enough.” I started walking away.
“I love you.” Freddie said desperately behind me, reaching forward and grabbing my wrist. “I should never have let you go,” he said, his voice cracking.
Not bothering to turn around, I looked to the ground. A month, hell even a week ago I would have crumbled at those words. But not anymore.
“Let me go Freddie.” I said quietly. “You made your choice. I don’t deserve any more heartache. Goodbye.” Pulling my wrist from his grip, I looked forward. The road was long and straight before me, the sun rising at the end. It still rained lightly on me, dampening my hair, leaving small drops glistening on my eyelashes and cheeks. But for once my tears were not mine – they were mother natures. Tipping my head back, I let her waves of rain wash over me, cleanse me of the past before I looked forward and walked towards the brilliant rising sun and the start of my new life.