Trains.

You know that feeling in your chest when you know you’;re running out of time? You’re in a dark and desolate station, with no one but your loud footsteps on the marble-tiled floor and the giant clock on the other side, glaring at you disapprovingly, to keep you company.

Tick-tock. Tick – tock.

The trains will leave as soon as that bloody clock strikes one. Which one’s yours? You look around and you see a dozen trains in every direction – none of them seem familiar. This is not what you had in mind. Your shadows grows in size as it weighs expectations, helplessness and loneliness down on you. You scream for help, in vain. The echoes bounce off the walls and come swooping back at you like eagles diving for fresh prey.

Tick – tock. Tick – tock.

It’s a beautiful night. The last time you remember seeing the stars so bright was on that road trip you guys had all those years back. Fun times. Suddenly, you realise you don’t know what that’s like anymore. You’re friends are probably out there, having the time of their lives, while you’re stuck here, trying to catch the only train to Your Dreams. You’re slipping, stumbling, and having everything except the time of your life.

Tick – tock. Tick – tock.

You’re afraid. Very, very afraid. Are you afraid of missing your train? Yes, you are. But that fear is overshadowed by the fear of getting on someone else‘s train, eating someone else‘s food, sleeping in someone else‘s bed, going where someone else should be going, and living someone else’s dream till it becomes your nightmare. A chill grabs your spine and yanks your neurons into a frenzy. Your legs turn to stone, and the invisible disappointed glares sear into your back. Amidst all this, you can still hear your heart beat.

Tick – tock. Tick – tock.

You knew this was going to happen. Deep down you know you did, don’t deny it. “You think this is some kind of work of fiction isn’t it?”, your reflection sneers back at you from the marble floor.”You really think some angel’s going to drop down from heaven to save you from yourself?” You shriek as the voices in your head throw curses at you, tugging at your innermost fears.

Tick – tock. Tick – tock.

You take your teary eyes off the ground and you see me, standing there, watching you. You crawl to me and, almost like a prayer, a plea of mercy, you say to me “Please…please just make it stop.” I pick you off the ground, and hold you close – only to whisper in your ear, “Welcome to my world.”

And then the clock struck one.

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