The Train to Quebec

I never really wanted to leave home. It’s just… I don’t know. I had to. How do you stay in a place where everything reminds you of someone? You don’t. At least in my case. That’s why I’m on this train to Canada despite my hatred for the cold. We never went to Canada, Molly and I. She hated the cold too. On holidays we’d always hop a flight to the tropics. God, she was so beautiful in a sundress. She was everything I’m not. Beautiful. Her olive skin, perfect teeth, a body that other girls would die for. I’ll never understand why she chose me.

I feel the train slowing down as we come into Montreal Station. It’s still a long way to Quebec. I’ve got a quick minute to hit the bathroom and snag a muffin before the train leaves station, so I take it. Blueberry, chocolate chip, and banana-nut. Clearly not chocolate chip because that was her favorite. Blueberry it is then.

I’m back on the train and in my window seat before I know it. I didn’t really get a good taste of Montreal, but that’s ok because the passengers of the train tell me all I need to know. Scarves are more of a fashion statement back in North Carolina, but it’s clear that they have a more practical use in Canada. The train is full of business people in wool coats, which all seem to be quite thin. It’s kind of ironic because you’d think that there would be more thin people where it’s hot and heavier people where it’s cold.

I notice a thin girl with olive skin, like Molly’s, heading toward my cabin and it makes me readjust in my seat. She doesn’t look like Molly, but she is attractive in her own way. She has these really big eyes that look almost determined, yet vulnerable. I can’t make heads or tails of her body because she too is wearing a long wool coat, but if I had to guess I’d say she’s very petite. She might even be the kind of girl I’d go on a date with if I never met Molly… but I did meet Molly.

The world has a funny way of playing games with us. The girl olive-skinned girl makes way to the seat just in front of mine and sits down. Not only is she prettier than distance allowed me to judge, but she shares the same scent as Molly. Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet. I know it specifically because I carry it with me. I know I’m not supposed to, but I don’t want to forget. It’s all I’ve got left.

I’ve got to talk to her. I stand up, cross the open seat next to me, and casually sit down next to her. I say casually, but I am sure it wasn’t. It’s certainly not now that I’m not saying anything.

“Hi, I’m Garrett,” stupid, stupid, “ummm, headed to Quebec?” Good one, Garrett. Suave.

“Yup,” she turns her head and smirks. “Business,” and she taps the top of a briefcase on her lap that I failed to notice. She doesn’t seem to be dressed for business though and that scent is something Molly would wear on special nights. Too expensive for a normal day at the office.

“I get it,” I say as I start to stand up. “I’m sorry if I came across as… well I am sorry.” Before I turn away I notice a kindness in her face, a moment of weakness maybe. She reaches and grabs my arm.

“Listen, Garrett,” she says softly. “You seem nice. What are you doing here? You’re clearly not Canadian.”

“I’m going to Quebec,” I say, still standing. “I just needed to get out of America. Looking for a fresh start, you know?”

“Garrett, please do me a favor,” she says pleadingly. “Get off this train.” This catches me off guard. Was I that awkward?

“What? What did I do? I’m sorry if–” and she cuts me off.

“Garrett, I want you to listen closely,” she pulls me in. “Get off this train. You’re a nice guy. Don’t make a fuss. Just get off this train. I’m going to blow it up.”

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