julia

it was winter, but it wasn’t that cold… the hat, gloves and two jumpers just made her feel secure. it didn’t hurt that her black and white fingerless gloves were irresistably cute either…. if she could wear them all summer long she would… especially with that flip over mittenny bit…

but, anyway, secure she felt, and warm… maybe that was part of it? these late night train rides unnerved her parents more than her, but she still felt a shred of unease every time the doors opened and she surveyed the unknown passengers. despite those worries (or perhaps because of them), she was always fascinated by everyone around her with all their different stories, reasons for being on the “9:02 Ringwood, stopping all stations”…. she couldn’t help but see a life history for each of them in the lines of their faces, no matter how young, old, beige or utterly ruthlessly wild they may be. to avoid suspicion she was careful not to stare or attract attention, burying her eyes into her notebook and scribbling furiously.

they all had their stories, hopes, intrigues… those with a suburban 1/4 acre dream (and working to afford it), those on their way home from after work trysts, carefully checking and preening for telltale traces of perfume, cologne, lipstick or something more permanent… the wannabe artist; the student dreaming of so much more; the woman in cheap clothes… yes… she was julia’s favourite – did anyone else notice the Dior perfume, the rock on her finger, designer accessories? was she fooling anyone? why did she do it? trying to be someone else? maybe… hiding from something? almost certainly… every day she gave the woman a different story…. then: undercover stalking her best friend’s husband’s mistress, now protecting the jewells from these undesirables sharing the carriage.

only two other passengers on the 9:02 looked happy though… the strange guy she almost missed who sat behind her, furtively glancing around, also scrawling into a notebook (his a pretty, red leather bound number) and the careworn, old man in a world of his own, reflecting perhaps?, looking forward?, delerious?

is that what it takes to be happy??

julia

Dan A'Vard

Thornbury, Australia

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an evening ride home…

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