Someone I Met on a Train Chapter 5

Someone I Met on a Train Chapter 5 Someone I Met on a Train Chapter 5

Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

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Status: In Progress

Genre: Romance

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Summary

The Journey Continues

Tags

Summary

The Journey Continues

Chapter5 (v.1) - Someone I Met on a Train

Author Chapter Note

The Journey Continues

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 05, 2017

Reads: 583

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 05, 2017

A A A

A A A

'Someone I Met on a Train':

 

Chapter 5:

 

Late that afternoon, Selena and Ernesto were in the lounge car, sitting next to each other on one of the settees, when Draven and Marissa came in together. Selena saw this as her opportunity to actually get to know them, and invited the couple to sit with them, an invitation they accepted gladly.

 

Her motive for wanting to meet them was simple: Because of the wreck that her own marriage had become, she had all but given up on the whole idea completely. When she met Ernesto, however, part of her hoped that one day they would be man and wife. Alas there was this nagging fear, that because of her past experience, she would somehow taint or even spoil the relationship by allowing her reservations to become an obstacle. Thus her hope was, that by hearing the story of a couple who were so obviously in love, she herself would be able to re-establish her faith in marriage once more.

 

Draven related to them the tale from how they met in college, and after a relatively long courtship, eventually decided to tie the knot. He was an architect, and she a draughtswoman, so not only did they become life-partners, but the two of them went into business together before they got married. The story took quite a bit longer to tell, because it was often interrupted by the two of them looking at each other, one squeezing the other's hand, his or her eyes sparkling as they relived some of their experiences. Many times they would kiss.

 

“It sounds like the two of you have almost a fairytale relationship.” Selena mentioned, afraid that her statement might sound a little too cynical.

 

“Not at all!” Exclaimed Marissa, “We almost broke up at one stage, and even stopped seeing each other for a while. But soon we realised that we'd rather face the difficult times, that were sure to come our way, together, than spend the rest of our lives apart.”

 

“That's right.” Agreed Draven, “And besides, often the reason for the break-up, in hindsight, is not really worth the pain that it causes. It's so much better afterwards, because you have discovered something more about your partner that perhaps you didn't know before. It makes you realise that both of you are human after all.”

 

The rest of the conversation was on a much lighter note, but deep inside, Selena felt that she had achieved her goal. She even regretted her fear when she thought that Ernesto had bought an engagement ring instead of the pendant, and part of her almost wished that he had. She nestled even closer to him, putting her hand in his and resting her head on his shoulder. She even found herself hoping, that despite the age difference, their relationship would be as successful, and perhaps even more so, than these two lovers that sat with them. She and Marissa became close friends after that, a friendship that lasted for many years.

 

Just after dinner, the train arrived at the station in Samblar. This was only to pick up new passengers and to allow others to disembark, however. Unlike the stop in Usanaar, they spent the night at a resort on the banks of Lake Ulath to the South East of the capital. However, they did get an impressive view of the city as they travelled through it. It was indeed a sight to behold at night, with all its bright lights, high-rise buildings, and hustle and bustle. Some of the passengers chose to spend some time taking in Samblar's vibrant night-life. They were informed that the train would depart from the siding next to the lake at ten o'clock the following morning. Selena and Ernesto chose to spend the night quietly at the resort.

Their accommodation was in large bungalows that faced the lake, with the main building, that included the lounge, dining room and offices, some distance away. This meant that each of the visitors had a room to themselves without anyone close by. The bungalow was almost an 'A-Frame', with the roof nearly touching the ground. It faced the lake, and on the one side there was a bay-window overlooking the garden, while the bathroom was on the opposite side. The front had a wide veranda on the ground floor, with arches supporting a second balcony that was covered on both sides by the high peaked roof.

 

Selena and Ernesto sat on the balcony. The night was perfectly clear, the moon full, and the view from where the couple sat was more beautiful than any they had seen before. Ulath was the smallest of the Yesha's three lakes. The biggest was Lake Usan, almost due West of Usanaar. This was followed by Lake Cerlyn. The town named after it was situated where it became an estuary on Yesha's North Western coast. Lianthorn, where Selena's journey began, was on the North-Eastern banks of the lake. Part of the second range of mountains through which they had travelled, before the plateau, could be seen vaguely on the far side of Lake Ulath, and huge forests grew down to the water's edge. The cool air caused mist to rise from the surface of the water, giving them the impression that the silver-coloured landscape on the other side was from a different world, hovering above the surface of this one.

 

Ernesto stood up, and put his hands on the balustrade in order to enjoy even more of the view. He heard Selena's movements behind him, and turned around to see what she was up to. She was standing - or rather posing - naked in front of him, the moonlight on her sensuous body, and her clothes around her feet. Her one hand brushed back her long hair. She stood with her weight on one leg, in a position known to artists as 'Contra-Posto', her hip tilted favouring the side upon which the weight is resting. Between her thighs shone the dim light from inside of the bungalow, and he caught the slightest glimpse of her secret cleft between them.

 

As he watched, her hand stroked her one breast. Her other hand went down between her legs, and caressed her maidenhead, a seductive look on her face. He drew nearer to her, taking her hand away from her womanhood, and replacing it with his, her other hand still fondling her breast. She gently pushed him away, and told him to undress. This he did, watching her resume her rhythmic pleasuring. Her eyes lit up as she saw his muscular body, and his member already standing to attention.

 

Ernesto lay on his back, and pulled her slowly down until her knees were on either side of his head. As he felt her honeypot just within reach of his tongue, he began to stroke her, tasting her moisture. Her hips rocked back and forth, allowing him to lave the whole of her mound. His cock jerked and pulsed behind her and his hands rested on her hips, holding her in place.

 

Selena went forward on all-fours, and Ernesto knelt behind her. With his hands on her butt, he pushed himself into her waiting honeypot. She rested on her elbows, and her hips rocked back and forth in time with his movements. Her eyes closed, and she groaned, as she felt her own movements vary the pressure inside her.

 

Soon her arms became tired, so she rolled over and lay on her back, ignoring the slight roughness of the wooden floor of the veranda. Ernesto supported his own weight with his strong arms, and entered her again. Soon they resumed their rhythm. She placed her hands on his strong butt, and pushed him deeper into her. His face was close to her one cheek, and she could feel his breathing get heavier and heavier as their encounter became more and more intense.

 

 

 

She threw her head back in a state of rapture, and her legs encircled him with such strength that he could hardly move. Her own convulsions lifted her hips off the floor with each wave, and her fingernails drew lines of red down his back as she cried out as if in pain, a long moaning cry. He struggled to free himself as he felt his own climax rapidly approach. He withdrew just as the first flood of milky semen erupted like a white fountain that cascaded over her dark patch of fine hair. Her hips still rose and fell, and the last wave of her climax began to fade as she felt his manhood throb against her tender vulvae. At last he collapsed on top of her, smothering her with kisses. She held his head as he buried his face in her hair.

 

Over and over again, he sighed: “I love you! Oh I love you!”

 

They lay in each other's arms until the floor became too hard and the air too chilly. Then they went inside and showered together as they had once tried on the train. This time there was plenty of room, and they both enjoyed washing each other. Ernesto then told her to lie down, tummy first, on the bed. Using a fragrant oil that she had in her one bag, he began to massage her, starting at the shoulders, and working slowly down until he reached her calf muscles. Then he told her to turn over, and continued until her whole body felt warm, and - oh - so alive!

 

Her eyes opened, and she saw him standing next to her, his strong body just within her reach. She stroked the muscles on his torso, feeling them tense slightly as her fingers touched him. Then she sat up, put her arms around his waist, and gently kissed the places where she had caressed him. She ran her fingers down the back of his thighs, and she smiled as she felt goosebumps rise where she caressed him, his hands in her dark hair, holding her head in place.

 

They dressed in fresh clothing, and made their way to the dining room for a late supper. They were only just in time, and the waitress informed them that the only dish that was still available was cold meat with salad, followed by cheese and biscuits. Both of them were very hungry, and accepted this with a smile. Soon they were enjoying the meal with a bottle of their favourite spiced wine.

 

After supper, they decided to get an early night because they wanted to wake up to watch the sun rising over the lake. The wine had made them very mellow, and soon they were asleep in each other's arms.

 

Just as the chorus of birds began to sing in the trees outside their bungalow, they both awoke. They dressed warmly, and went outside onto the balcony. Slowly the world came to life before them. The rising sun was partially blocked at first by the clouds that remained after the light rain, that had fallen during the late hours of the night, and only stopped just before dawn. As the sunlight began to intensify, it caused the mist to rise on the lake, only this time it made the world behind it look like it was a work of art, done in the faintest of pastel shades, becoming more and more vivid as the day began in earnest. Soon some ducks flew down and alighted on the smooth water, and the last wisps of morning mist disappeared as if by some magic spell.

 

The view was now even more breathtaking than it had been the previous evening. The night's rain had washed the sky so that it was almost a perfect blue, and the landscape was so clear that the colours were almost to intense to be real. When the time came for them to return to the siding and board the train once more, both of them bade good-bye to this idyllic place rather reluctantly, and vowed that they would return someday soon.

 

The train left the small country station. It was slightly late as one of the passengers that had spent the night in Samblar did not arrive on time. The countryside had changed quite dramatically now. Instead of the railway line being flanked on both sides by forests and trees, they now travelled through lush green grassland. Often they could see cattle and other livestock grazing in the fields.

The land between Samblar and the escarpment, where the plateau ends, and the terrain steadily descends down to just above sea level before the journey's end in the coastal city of Cathan, was considered to be Yesha's food-basket. Most of the country's fresh produce came from here. The rivers that supplied this region with water were broad and deep, and very few of them dried up at all during winter. Many of them flowed out of either Lake Usan or Ulath, but the biggest of them all, the mighty Aruakar, had its beginnings in the second mountain range North of Usanaar, where most of the peaks were capped with snow during the middle of winter. When this began to thaw, the river often came down in flood, which was why the farmers in the area were wise enough not to plant crops, or send their flocks or herds to graze too close to the banks of the river. Because the land was so flat, the Aruakar and the other rivers meandered lazily across the fertile plains, with plenty of time to deposit their rich load of nutrients in the soil.

 

By the middle of the afternoon, some dark clouds began to gather, and the early evening was accompanied by a storm. The rain in this region came down steadily, without high winds to blow it into a torrent. Because the land was so flat, the lightning would often strike a rocky outcrop or even a tall tree, being the highest point on the plateau. There had been cases in which a farmhouse was hit, but these were rare because the inhabitants of this land had learned long ago not to build on open ground.

 

The storm lasted long after dinner, and Selena and Ernesto were watching it through the windows of the lounge car when one of the guardsmen came over, and asked them to accompany him to where the security team's cabins were situated, almost at the front of the train. As they approached, Selena froze, her face turning very pale.

 

“It's all right miss.” Assured the guardsman, “We've got everything under control. He can't hurt you.”

 

Rather reluctantly she went inside. Sitting on a wooden chair, his hands in cuffs, was a rough-looking man with an untidy beard and moustache. His hair looked like it had once been cut very short all over, but had been allowed to grow out without having been combed for quite some time. His appearance matched his temperament it seemed. When he saw Selena, he began to shout at her, and even threatened to kill her.

 

“Your husband wants you back.” He informed her, “I was sent to fetch you and drag your arse home, in a fucking sack if I have to!” Turning to the captain of the guard, he demanded: “You let me go, or I'll make sure you never work anywhere in your life again! The man I work for has got a lot of clout, and when he hears that you had the balls to detain me, he'll have your arse, just you mark my words!”

 

The officer had the sense to ignore his threats. He asked Selena: “Do you know this man?”

 

Trying to contain her fear, she nodded: “Yes I do. His name is Baines, and he's one of the men employed by my ex-husband to do his dirty work. How did you catch him?”

 

“He tried to break into your compartment. I don't think he knew that the two of you weren't there. He's also not exactly sober, or else he may have planned things a bit better. In any case, Parsons caught him, and brought him here with the help of one of the other guards.” The Captain explained, and then assured Selena: “We have a special place for people who cause trouble on this train. It's usually reserved for unruly drunks. Alas, we do get them from time to time, and we have to keep them under lock and key until they sober up, but it will do until we arrive at our next stop.

 

 

I've arranged for the police from Cathan to take him into custody as soon as yourselves, along with the rest of the passengers disembark for the afternoon excursion on the banks of the Aruakar. Don't worry, by the time you return, he will be on his way to either Cathan or Samblar under police guard.”

 

Baines became even more abusive when he heard this. He bawled: “You can't do this! Let me go at once, scum, or I'll fucking throttle you in your sleep!”

 

“Now listen here, you piece of shit!” Exclaimed the captain, “One more word out of you, and I'll throw you off the train myself! Do I make myself clear?”

 

“You wouldn't ...” Began Baines.

 

“Just you try me!” Retorted the officer, losing his patience. Addressing one of his men, he instructed: “Lock the bastard in the holding cell. Get him out of my sight!”

 

It took two guardsmen to drag the thug, kicking and screaming, and hurling threats and insults, to the back of the carriage where there was a small room, not more than ten feet square, with a heavy wooden door, reinforced with thick iron bars bolted diagonally across it. It had a small opening near the top, blocked by the criss-cross metal rods, and a strong lock on the outside. Inside there was nothing but an old mattress, and a train's toilet at the far end. The two men forced Baines inside, and locked the door.

 

“Take these fucking cuffs off my hands!” He demanded.

 

The officer ordered: “No. Keep them on him until he learns to behave himself.”

 

“You can't do that to me!” Baines ranted.

 

“It seems that I just have.” Replied the captain sarcastically. He then spoke to Selena, saying: “Thank you again miss, and sorry for the inconvenience. Roland and Parsons will still be posted at your compartment to make sure that nothing else goes wrong.”

 

“Much obliged Captain.” Thanked Selena, “You and your men have been a great help. My thanks to all of you.”

 

“Good night both of you.” The man replied in a calm voice.

 

They returned to Ernesto's cabin, and while he poured them both a stiff drink to calm their nerves, Selena went to her own compartment to fetch some clothes. She greeted Parsons as she passed him. He smiled as he returned the greeting.

 

“Lucky he didn't get in like the last one.” He stated, “Or else you would have one hell of a job tidying up again.”

 

“Yes - and thanks again.” Selena responded.

 

“Just doing my job miss.” He said, somewhat shyly, “That's all.”

 

 

 

 

She thanked him again, this time kissing the young man lightly on his cheek. He chuckled nervously, and his face went very red. It seemed that he had quite forgotten what he wanted to say. He suddenly became very interested in the shine of his leather shoes, and didn't look up until Selena had gone inside. She smiled, shaking her head.

 

When she had finished, she came out again, and asked: “Do you drink Parsons?”

 

“I do miss.” He replied, “But not on duty.”

 

Selena handed him a half-jack of sherry from the drinks cabinet in her room, saying: “Just a small token. For you to enjoy when you knock off.”

 

The young man's eyes lit up. He smiled broadly at her, and stammered: “Why, thank-you miss. Thank you so much.” Then he took the bottle, and shoved it into the pocket of his coat, the top just sticking out of it.

 

Selena and Ernesto finished the drinks he had poured them. They were both exhausted, and soon fell asleep without so much as a word to each other apart from “Good night”.

 

Just after breakfast the next morning, the train stopped at a station especially built for it. The siding overlooked an area that had been made into a massive bird sanctuary as well as a botanical garden. The reason for this was that a certain tree grew only in this specific area, and thus a reserve had been established in order to protect it. There was a network of well-marked pathways that visitors could follow, and were prevented from wandering off them for fear of upsetting the environment in which these trees grew. There were special picnic lawns where people could sit on the grass, and enjoy the view while having a meal. The only condition was that there were no fires.

 

Selena and Ernesto chose to be alone rather than follow the rest of the group, and soon they came to one of the lawns. The paths were all paved, and Selena longed to walk barefoot on the soft turf. She seized the opportunity, kicked off her sandals, and danced merrily, laughing as if she had not a care in the world. Her lover watched as she seemed to almost glide over the ground, her long skirt hiding her bare feet. She had not told him, that in her youth, she had always dreamed of being a ballet dancer, but her marriage to Silas had forced her to all but bury her desire. But now, as she danced with only Ernesto as her captive - or rather captivated - audience, the spark that had almost been extinguished sprang to life once more.

 

When she had finished dancing, she curtseyed as though before a crowd of people. Ernesto clapped and cheered until she sat down on the ground next to him, her arms around his neck, and kissed his cheek. They sat there for a while, gazing at the river some distance away, and the gardens that reached all the way down to its banks. Then the couple continued until they found themselves in a secluded spot, surrounded by tall trees. There was a wooden bench beside the path, and Ernesto sat down on it. He stretched his legs across it, pretending to stop Selena from joining him. She laughed, and straddled him as he took her in his arms. She let her hair fall over his face, and he sighed as he smelt the sweet scent of her shampoo.

 

For a while they just sat there, gazing into each other's eyes and saying nothing. Then Selena bent forwards, and they kissed, her hands under his golf shirt feeling his strong muscles and smooth skin. He pulled the top of her dress until her shoulder was exposed to his touch. They were so engrossed in each other, that when it was time to return to the train for lunch, neither of them wanted to leave. Rather reluctantly, they stood up and rearranged their clothing before heading back hand in hand.

 

 

After a meal of cold meats, salads, and various types of bread, the passengers boarded the train once more. The railway line ran alongside the Aruakar river for quite some time, and the thick vegetation made it almost impossible to see what was on the opposite bank. In fact, at times the river itself was hidden from sight by the mass of tall trees and dense bush that grew right up to the tracks. They crossed a number of bridges under which some of the tributaries of the Aruakar flowed, the openings giving the viewer a brief glimpse of the river itself. A mighty river it was, in places more than twenty metres wide, and its water was a dark earthy brown that indicated just how rich in minerals and nutrients it really was.

 

Heavy clouds hung overhead, threatening more rain by nightfall. Sure enough, while everyone was having dinner, the heavens opened. Once again, with hardly any warning, the storm began. It fell softly at first, but soon the noise on the roof of the dining car almost drowned out the sound of voices inside and the soft background music. Looking out of the window, Selena could see very little, except when a flash of sheet lightning revealed the landscape, and in an instant everything went black again.

 

It was still raining when she and Ernesto went to bed. Selena always felt especially cosy in bed when there was a storm outside. Now, snuggled close to him, his warm body pressed against her back, and his one leg over hers, she felt even more content. She took his hand in hers, and kissed it. She fell asleep with his arm over her shoulder.

 

As Selena slept, her dreams took her back to the ruined shrine. She and Kalin had gone there often during their short affair. It was their secret rendezvous, and was one of five shrines near Lianthorn, and one that posed somewhat of a mystery. In the centre of the shrine, which was roughly circular, was a pillar that reached right up to the highest part of the domed roof. Upon this was a series of relief carvings, at one time depicting the mythology pertaining to the specific deity to which the shrine was dedicated. The reason why the two lovers preferred this particular one was that it was built in honour of Athartyes, the 'Lady of Desire'.

 

At the bottom of this central pillar was an altar that once had a smooth granite top - so smooth in fact, that there was some debate as to how the masons had been able to work the stone to such a fine finish without the use of machine tools. The altar formed a step all the way around the pillar. Here - it was thought - the priests and priestesses performed elaborate rituals and ceremonies before their deities while the people sat on the floor around the altar. There were four doors and four arched windows. The latter faced each of the cardinal points of the compass - North, East, South and West - while the former were at regular intervals between them, thus pointing North-East, South-East … and so on.

 

… In her dream, Selena was sitting naked on top of what remained of the altar. The granite surface felt smooth and cold under her bare butt. Her shoulders were against the rough stone of the central pillar, and her hands supported her as she leaned back. Kalin stood on the moss-covered floor, his hands on her hips, and her legs wrapped round his torso, pinning his upper arms to his sides. The heat generated by his rhythmic thrusts were in sharp contrast to the cold stone upon which she sat, and made his cock feel like a brand inside of her. Her hips rocked back and forth in time with his movements, and every time they became too intense, she reached out and touched his chest.

 

She whispered breathlessly: “Slow down my beloved. Not so fast.”

 

He would oblige, and the magic of the moment continued for a little while longer. She looked up at his face, now holding her gaze, now with his eyes closed as a wave of pleasure swept through him. Soon he began thrusting harder and faster, and again she made him slow his pace. She felt the warmth inside reach boiling point, and locked her legs behind him so that he could hardly move.

“Oh Kalin!” She groaned as her climax coursed through her, her eyes closed. Her hips bucked off the stone altar with such force that she nearly fell off. This made her loose her grip around his waist, and enabled him to withdraw. Selena knelt on the floor below the altar, watching her lover jerk himself off. As she sensed that his time was drawing near, she opened her mouth in anticipation. She urged him on by cupping his balls, and gently squeezing them, her tongue just brushing the tip of his member, now coated with clear fluid.

 

With a grunt, he pushed his hips forward, his cock just inside her still open mouth, and she felt a heated stream flow onto her tongue. She put her hands on his butt, and pushed the throbbing member into her mouth, swallowing the strands of hot semen that followed. With a gentle sucking movement, she coaxed the last of his offering. Then she let him withdraw, and continued stroking his member until it went limp once again.

 

Again she whispered: “Oh Kalin!” …

 

At that moment, she awoke with the sense that someone was watching her. And she was right. When she opened her eyes, she saw Ernesto's face looking at her. He frowned, and his expression was one of puzzlement and concern.

 

Before she could say anything, he asked: “Who is Kalin? It's the second time you've mentioned that name.”

 

Selena sat up in bed, and took his hand in hers. She replied: “I'm sorry my love. Kalin was my first real lover, the one I met just before my father arranged for me to marry Silas. For about eighteen months after I was married, we used to meet incognito at one of the old shrines outside Lianthorn. It was there that we made love for the first time. By this time Silas had already begun to abuse me, so Kalin was a real godsend. His love made me feel alive, and stopped me from killing myself.”

 

“What happened?” Asked Ernesto.

 

“One of Silas's thugs spotted us.” She explained, “He went and told my father, who was getting old and frail. He asked me to come and see him, and when I did, he implored me to leave Kalin. At first I objected, saying that I loved him even more now than I had before I was married to Silas, and that I planned to file for divorce on the grounds of abuse. It was then that I discovered that my father was dying of cancer, and that Silas had offered to pay for his treatment, provided that he convince me to abandon Kalin. If I didn't agree, the bastard had threatened to stop the payments and let my father die.

 

I mean, what choice did I have? At the time I thought, that if I do what my dad asked, at least there was a chance that he would respond positively to the treatments. If I did not, then I would almost certainly have lost him, and would never have lived with the idea that I was responsible for his death.”

 

“So what did you do?” Ernesto enquired, almost guessing the answer already.

 

“What could I do?” Came the answer, “Kalin and I met for the last time at the old shrine. It was that incident that I recalled in my dream. I told him about what had happened, and that I was forced to leave him. His eyes were streaming with tears as he looked at me in disbelief. I tried to convince him that I still loved him, and that my own heart felt as though it was being ripped out of my chest.

 

 

 

We made love, as if by doing so, we could make the pain of our parting go away. But all we could do was postpone the inevitable. We lay in each other's arms afterwards, neither of us wanting to let go. It was getting dark as we eventually made our way back to town. In the gardens near the town hall we kissed. I clung to him, not wanting that last kiss to end. At last our lips parted, and I saw his despairing face, stained with tears, and such a blank expression in his eyes that I was afraid for his sake. I begged him not to do anything stupid, but he could not answer me. His warm hand brushed my own tears away. He then turned and left without even looking back.”

 

At this point, Selena had to stop. The memory of that terrible day overtook her, and she began to weep. Ernesto put his arms around her. She rested her head on his shoulder until he felt the trickle of tears running off him onto the sheet. Finally she gathered enough strength to finish the story.

 

In a voice heavy with emotion, she continued: “I tried to convince myself that I had done the right thing, and for a while it seemed that it was. But three months later, I received a call from one of my father's oldest friends. He informed me that the treatments my dad was receiving were having no effect, and that the cancer was in fact spreading much more rapidly than the doctors had expected. Then came the news that left me absolutely cold: The specialist had informed my father that he had only three months to live, maximum!”

 

“Oh my God!” Stammered Ernesto.

 

“Wait.” Interjected Selena, “It gets worse! I approached Silas, asking him if I could go and spend time with my dad. He flew into a terrible rage, and if I hadn't run out of the study, he probably would have either raped or even killed me. I went to my room, sat down on the floor in one corner, and wept. Not long after that, Silas came in and tried to say that he was sorry. When he reached down to touch me, my whole body went cold. I knew what his 'Sorry' meant!

 

“Get the hell out of my sight, you creep!” I yelled, at once fearing that my words would make him lose his temper again. He stood up, and walked out. Just before he left the room, he said that I could go and stay with my dad for as long as I liked. This I did, and two and a half months later, my father died in his bedroom. I stayed with him almost all the time. That night, he called out to me, his hand stretched out toward me. I held it in mine. It felt so cold and lifeless.

 

His last words to me were: “I'm so sorry! I should not have put you through all this!”

 

I told him that I had never blamed him for what happened, but before I could tell him that I loved him one last time, his eyes closed. He sank back on his pillows, and let out a long sigh. I put my arms around him, and buried my head in his chest. I was almost certain that I could hear his heart beating slower and slower. He died in my arms.”

 

By this time they were both crying. Ernesto said over and over again: “How terrible! How absolutely terrible!”

 

Selena lifted his head and wiped the tears from his face. She managed a smile despite the lump in her throat. She said softly: “For the first time in my life, I feel that I can put all that behind me now, and it's all because of you. It's true that I still mourn my dad, but not like before. Now I can even dare to hope. You have made me feel as though I've woken up from a terrible nightmare, only to realise that it was only a dream, and that what we have together is the reality.”

 

He tried to respond, but could not find the words to match what she had so eloquently said. His only reply was: “I love you so much.”

 

Selena smiled more broadly now. She did not bother answering him. She put her arms around him, and their lips met. As they kissed, it seemed that the bond that they had formed could heal all wounds, even those that she had felt were too deep to ever mend. The rocking of the train, and the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels soon sent them back to sleep, this time facing each other. There were no more disturbances for the rest of the night, and when they awoke the following morning, they found that they were still in the same position.

 

Selena was roused by a hand gently stroking her cheek. As she opened her eyes, she saw Ernesto staring back at her, a slight smile on his face. She laughed sleepily, and in a soft dreamy voice said: “Such a wonderful wake-up call.”

 

Ernesto responded: “I didn't mean to wake you. I just love watching you sleep.”

 

She did not reply. Instead she stroked his dark eyebrows, and then put her hand on his cheek. He kissed her palm, saying: “You are so beautiful.”

 

After lying in each other's arms for some time, they finally decided to make their way to the dining car for breakfast. They met Draven and Marissa in the passage, and the four of them enjoyed the morning meal in the company of friends. As they laughed and talked together, the residual pain from the previous night's conversation was all but forgotten, and Selena felt that this day would be a good one.


© Copyright 2018 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.

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