The Train Boarding Pass

Source. Pexels. Uriel Castellanos, Photographer

by LJ Frank

 

 

I opened my bloodshot eyes as a bright light crawled across the ceiling like an apparition. The sun was beginning to rise. A hot wind blew through the screened in window. The lonely air horn of a train could be heard in the distance. I still had an hour.

Drenched in sweat I stumbled out of bed, showered, shaved, and dressed, then packed an old leather shoulder bag and stopped by The Café & Bar down the street. I debated whether to get a Bloody Mary or cup of ice coffee to take with me. I chose the coffee and made my way to the station to get my boarding pass.

The clerk grinned as if he knew something I didn’t when I asked for the pass.

“Did I miss something?”

“You’re on time.” He nodded his head, handing me the pass he retrieved from a metal box on the counter.

I placed the pass in my sports coat pocket, walked to the platform and boarded the train, waded trough a small crowd of people, then sat next to a window. I began sipping my coffee when a striking woman, dressed to advantage and carrying a bruised leather shoulder bag, sat down next to me.

With a friendly expression on her face she said with an exotic though  unidentifiable accent, “I noticed you at The Café & Bar. Decided on ice coffee. You have a familiar taste.”

“Interesting way of putting it. Coincidence?”

“Or serendipitous?”

“Well…I’m…”

She interrupted, “Are you prepared?”

“Prepared?”

“Hm. Perhaps you don’t know after all. By the way, I like your casual style, Henley shirt under the coat.”

“Thanks. But…”

“It may appear to have been a long time.” She said, placing her hand on my leg.

“Do we know each other?”

“What do you think?”

“I’m bewildered.”

“Better than being lost,” She said with her beige colored parting lips, “Look at your Boarding Pass and the writing on the back. That might clear your memory.”