That's What She Wrote: Link Up #1

Words cannot describe how excited I am for this day. 

First, I get to read other amazing bloggers' short stories! 
Second, I get to share my passion with you: Fiction! 

When you're done reading my own short story, don't stop! Click on other's stories in the link up or link up your own! Let's show off our creative side! 

So without further adieu I give you my own short story:

He arrives inside the train depot right on time. He runs his hands over his freshly shaven chin, checks his watch for the hundredth time and stops to take in the crowd.

Without trying, his eyes start to search the faces, waiting for them to catch sight of one face he knows without trying. His brow creases as more time passes and he still hasn’t found her.

They said that if one didn’t want to go through with getting on the train, there would be no hard feelings. But what if she is somewhere near, what if she thinks it’s him that hasn’t shown?

They had said 2:00 p.m. When they decided to leave, there were so many unanswered questions. But the only one they could answer wholeheartedly was this:

Did they want to escape together? The answer: Yes. A million times over, yes.

So he was here. And she was not. His breath came in quick bursts, sweat began beading on the back of his neck. He heartbeat thumped in his ears.

He began to walk. Briskly, he maneuvered between the crowds.

He notices flashes in the crowd that could be her. A lady flipping dark hair over a shoulder, someone throwing their head back in laughter, another, her nose buried in a book.

If only he could see each person in the crowd up close, he could find her faster. The intimate parts of her were the most familiar to him, the ones so much more vivid in his mind. If he could get close enough to each persons’ hand, he would be able to spot the chipped nail polish on her fingers, or the careful mascara on her dark lashes. If he could reach out and pull the hair off each person’s neck, he would recognize the curve of hers immediately.

He decides to search the platform instead of inside the depot and finds a door leading outside. It’s locked tight, a padlock dangling from a chain holds the doors tightly shut. The padlock intrigues him so he stops to inspect it.

There are initials and a date inscribed on one side. He pauses, runs his fingers over the letters and smiles. The shrill sound of a train’s whistle brings him back and he swiftly turns to find another way onto the platform.

He finds a door, opens it and the crisp fall air hits his face and the smell of fallen leaves and damp sidewalks reminds him of the autumn he had first lost her. That wet outdoor odor, mixed with the taste of gin and tears, was all that he needed to remember the reason he was here: to never lose her again.

He picks up his pace. He spots a woman carrying large packages. It couldn’t be her, they agreed to pack light. A man helps an older woman through a doorway. Two young teenage girls laugh and whisper into each other’s ears. A man walks out on the platform and looks from side to side. Is he waiting for his partner as well? Did he tell whomever he is waiting on the wrong time?

And then, in a flash, he remembers. Of course she wouldn’t be waiting in the busy, crowded station. She’d be somewhere quiet and alone because she hates loud noises and crowded spaces. And she’d waiting until the last minute so that she didn’t appear frazzled when they met. She knows he’s dependable and he’d come looking for her. He knows that she probably did pack some things because she likes to be prepared. He knew she’d bring something to read, a change of clothes and because she’s self conscious, she’s probably wearing a coat, despite the friendly autumn sun.

He ticks off all of these things about her without thinking. Her tendencies, her quirks, are so familiar to him that they are apart of the landscape of his mind. Her nervousness makes his heart beat faster, her laugh makes the corners of his mouth turn up in a grin. Her fast paced storytelling awakes his soul, her hands, incessantly moving, make his own start to tap against the inside of his pockets.

He decides she’s somewhere less crowded and starts looking for a break in the throngs of people. He must hurry. Their train leaves in just a few minutes, at 2:13.

There, up ahead, passed the main platform, is a small, uncrowded area.

He starts walking faster. His shoulder clips the elbow of an old man, who is talking animatedly to the two men with him. “Yes, I knew her long ago and I am so happy to tell you, we’ve been together ever since that one summer...” he hears the old man say as he strides past.

The 2:13 departure whistle sounds, warning the passengers of the upcoming departure. His heart lurches as he realizes he’s almost out of time. He forces himself to focus on finding her, even though his mind begins to raise with the sudden, dreadful realization that it may lose her again.

He sees someone. As the whistle hollers, her hands fly up abruptly to cover her ears. She’s facing the other direction and as his feet hit the pavement, one quickly after the other, she turns and he stops.

He takes in a deep breath and his smile turns into a laugh that almost sounds like a small cry.

“What took you so long?” she asks, holding out her hand.

“I hope you don’t mind that I found a more quiet place to wait for you. I knew you’d come looking for me. And I packed a couple extra things, just in case something happened. Oh, and I brought a book, so we could take turns reading to each other in the train car.”

He took her hand, grabbed the suitcase and guided her onto the last train car, his smile so big, the people on the platform had stopped to stare.

I showed you mine, now you show me yours!