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When The Whistle Blows

A train whistle is the loneliest sound in the whole, wide world.

Lynn had thought this more than once over the last few years, and whenever she heard that sound carry through the darkness, she thought it again. Mournful and intense, the distant wail called out to her – and pushed her away at the same time. And on nights like this one, the moon a full, round, silver shimmer of light above her, it brought back all the old memories.

Kelly had been the one regret in her life. That one, unfinished, story she could never really put down, but couldn’t ever get right, either. And now, it looked as though it was going to hang there in the ether forever. Never finished, never explained. Just a portion of a tale of two people never meant to actually be real.

Lynn had known from the beginning that it was going to be a mess. After all, she was a wreck of a girl, running from home, from life, from responsibility, when she met him. He wasn’t a model of adulthood either at the time, but something about him had just clicked with her, and she had fallen hard.

And of course, when that happened, she’d bolted. Running away from it all, she’d run for years, losing herself in another life, another persona. But they’d been kids, both of them. At least, that’s what they each said when they found one another again after all those years.

You can forgive youthful indiscretions and mistakes, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

And then, just a few months ago, it had happened. Lynn had been contacted, through another friend. And there he was. Still the same smile, the same way of burrowing in, under her defenses. And she was hooked again. And scared out of her mind, she pushed him away as hard as she could.

Way to go.

It worked. If you can’t run, if you can’t hide… what do you do? Push it away.

And now, sitting on her porch with that moon shining full and round and silver above her, Lynn listened to the train off in the distance… and knew. He was on that train, he was leaving. When the whistle blows… they always leave.

-Dec. 29, 2013

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