14:25 Train to the Sea
Six oval lights in two rows, twelve lights in total, are above her. Two seats in front, two seats in her row, four seats in total to complete a square, this small enclosure for the passengers of the 14:25 train to Loano. She’s facing the back of the train, not preferable, but necessary, as the train is packed to the brim with bodies. Lucky most travelers get off at the first few stops, so the mess has mostly dispersed. She did not enjoy the fifteen seconds of a stranger’s ass against her shoulder as the stranger attempted to make room for others to go around her sickeningly thick body. She also did not like change, and so this seat, annoyingly placed against the entrance of the cart, and facing the back of the train, was hers, until her destination was to be reached that is. Two more hours.
What she didn’t mind was the young man sitting across from her. He was handsome and gave off the air of one untamed and untroubled, wild. His hair was shoulder length and finger brushed, a color that wasn’t quite honey, but she imagined that it smelled just as lovely, that he would wash it often and let it dry with the heat of the sun. She gazed at him as he stared out the window, eyes focused on the trees and rivers and mountains that drifted by. She imagined him thinking of the people who lived in the houses spread across the greenery, as she would. She imagined the two of them living on one of those farms, happily, with dogs, donkeys, and cows, maybe even a few chickens. Living with common live stock would convince them to give up eating meat, as they would not be able to imagine eating a member of the family. They’d be healthy and fit, in love with each other’s bodies, and their own. If he’d only turn around and see her, hear her thoughts, imagine what she imagined, then maybe they really could be happy, or some version of happiness that could last as long as a single glance. Who would know?
The train continues on, the grass and trees blending into one green ribbon of textures and shadows and bursts of sunlight. Turn around, she thinks, but his eyes are focused, his manner is calm despite his wildness. His tanned arms are relaxed, large hands in his lap. She imagines his hands in her hair, gently massaging her scalp, telling her that life was indeed an endless chain of misery, but at least they had each other, he had her. She wanted to hear those words so badly, at least some version, any version.
She sighs loudly, unintentionally. He turns. He looks into her eyes and she wonders what he might see in them. His are brown and beaming, and make her feel awake, like a rush of caffeine from the coffee color of his eyes. He's focused like before, but instead of out the window, on her. She has goosebumps all over. Embarrassed, she turns away. She can only blush while remembering the life she’d just imagined for the two of them. She’s not sure how to react, and so, awkwardly, she turns. She meets his eyes again, he hasn’t turned away. Awkwardly, she smiles. For a moment nothing happens, her smile doesn’t falter, and his eyes don’t turn away. The train continues on, and the ribbons of green turn to ribbons of blue as they pass a river that seems so vast that it could actually be a lake, or maybe they've already arrived to the ocean, she isn’t sure. The moment passes, and then he’s smiling too, clearly amused, she assumes, and hopes it’s not out of laughter at her awkwardness. Could this be a version of happiness? This glace that lasts only a few seconds? She hopes so, and then his mouth opens as if preparing to speak-