Surprisingly, it takes you less than a second to recover from the shock. You finally say the words that you’ve been mouthing since the train began to move.
“WHO ARE YOU? WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
Minutes of silence follow.
“WHO ARE YOU?”
Suddenly, the train grinds to a halt. You hit your head against the steel pole and lose consciousness. You’re off the train by the time you wake up.
You sit at the very corner of a white, sound-proof room. You feel the cold against your feet but realize then that the rest of your body is kept warm… by a straitjacket. There are no walls and no windows visible, save for an outline of a door that happens to be right in front of you. Desperate, you try to stand up and open the door to your freedom.
Unfortunately, its locked.
The train is silent.
You hear shuffling feet and realize then that people have begun to sit near you. Everyone rushes to the corner car. Their silence surprises you.
The choppy voice on the speaker laughs. “Takot kayo?” he asks. “There’s nothing to be scared of. I promise.”
Suddenly the train moves backward at lightning speed. People begin to scream. You cover your ears and try to stay calm. Thankfully the years of playing on the balance beam finally pay off, and you manage to stay properly seated despite the horrific ride. The train zooms to a halt at the previous station, and the doors open.
“If I were you, I would run,” says the choppy voice.
Immediately, people around you rush outside, knocking you over in the process. Your purse falls to the ground and your things scatter around the now-empty train.
“Aren’t you leaving?” the voice asks. You shudder.
“Who are you?”
Immediately, the doors close. You hear agonizing screams from the darkness beneath the platform. You shake. A bloody hand appears on the door, and you scream. More bloodied hands emerge. In a second, you see a face writhed in agony slam against the train doors.
Your purse drops to the floor, and you sit back on the chair in shock. The train rushes off at lightning speed. You’re silent, shaking… scared.
‘Who are you?’ you think. ‘Who are you and what do you want from me?’
Today the question you ask will not be answered by the question which you plan to ask but the question which you might think you want to ask but you really won’t want to ask because the question you will ask is a question that you won’t think of as a question but will think of as something that isn’t the question about something that you want to try to question even though you’re going to ask the question you think is the question of whatever it is that you think you want to question.
Tomorrow is the start of a new day. Your feet is tired and your heels are bleeding, but you don’t care. Tomorrow, it’ll be all over. The car you promised yourself has finally made its way to your doorstep, and all you’ll need to do now is sign on the dotted line. ‘Finally,’ you tell yourself. ‘Finally.’
You take out the red card from your wallet and slide it into the card holder. Gingerly you make your way to the platform. In a matter of seconds, your ride arrives.
The violet chairs are empty at this time of night and the train is cold. You find a seat at the middle, across a visibly-stoned twentysomething and a young man who looks as tired as you do. The doors close and the train zooms by.
For the first three stations, the train seems to be running okay. It isn’t until you’re a station away from your stop that things begin to take a turn for the worst.
The lights flicker on and off, and people begin to notice. You grab hold of your purse and hope its just the rain outside that’s the problem.
You hear faint moans and screams from the adjoining cars.
“Kailangan ko pa umuwi, ano ba iyan!”
“Tumahimik!!! TUMAHIMIK!!! Sinabing tumahimik e!!!”
That moment when you feel like your words mean nothing and your thoughts are senseless.
That moment when you question your purpose and wonder why you chose to be you.
That moment when you wonder how and why and where and when and what and what the hell.
……. Is not now.
M e .
Y o u .
U s .
M e e t
L o v e
i n t h e a i r
T i l l
t h e
I woke up in a dream and you were all I saw. Saw you beside me, your hand in mine, your lips pursed. Pursed as though ready for the kill.
You gripped my soul and wrapped my heart in the shame of loving you. You, a metaphor for perfection. Perfection’s sweet kiss upon mortal lips.
I found myself living in the fantasy of the thing that could never be.