The Great Train Accident — Chapter 2

IMG_0874My closest cousin became engaged to be married and asked my sister, Vicki, and me to be bridesmaids. This cousin was the daughter of my mother’s brother. I never really knew him very well, but I did know that he owned a monkey. When he was out of work for a while, he came to live with us briefly and brought his monkey.

Haven’t you always wanted a monkey? This monkey was horrifying and used to hiss and spit and was not “house trained”. I don’t actually remember having the monkey live with us, but I do remember hearing about how horrible it was to have it in the house.

The weather has suddenly turned cold outside. I can see the wind blowing the leaves of the trees around in my front yard. The geese are starting to fly in ever enlarging groups and although they don’t actually migrate anymore, I think that they still like getting together this time of year to talk about why they don’t bother to fly south.

I haven’t noticed any leaves changing colour yet, but it was really hot until last Friday, so the leaves really shouldn’t be starting to change yet.

My sister was still living in our hometown and I was now in second year university. The university town was two hours away from where I used to live, so we came up with a great idea. We would meet half way, where coincidentally there was a large city, to co-ordinate bridesmaid’s dresses and accessories.

We had a plan. I would take the train to the city and Vicki would meet me at the train station. Something went wrong with my train. I’m not sure what. Nothing significant. There may have been a minor accident with a car at one of the crossings or perhaps an engine problem, I don’t actually know, but I was late arriving.

The train station, like most buildings of this nature, had a large open floor designed to accommodate the people as they enter when the train arrives. The space is generally mostly empty, but needs to be large to allow the passengers and their families to enter all at once. As I entered the train station, I saw Vicki sitting in a small dining area at a table on the other side of this large open space. When she saw me enter the station she jumped up and ran across the open area towards me and threw her arms around me. She said something about my being late and I told her that something had happened and she exclaimed, “I knew you were in a car accident and that something terrible had gone wrong!”

I hadn’t said this. It was very abnormal for my sister to be this emotional when she saw me and it was very peculiar that she nearly shouted this when she said it. I decided that she must have just gotten nervous waiting for me in the railway station and had started to worry. It would have been a long day for her already because she would’ve travelled an hour to get there as well.

The place that we were going to, to have our dresses fitted, was downtown. Like most cities, the original design was to have the train station right downtown and this city was no exception. We had about three blocks to walk down the street and around a corner.

So, we started to head towards the doors. In Canada, most of the public entranceways are composed of two sets of doors with an area in between. I believe this is to stop wind from blowing directly into the building. The floors in this area are often equipped with drains, or grating at least, so that snow can fall off here and melt instead of being carried into the main part of the building.

We went through the first set of doors just as a woman came in the other set. There was a moment when we were all in this entranceway together. My sister grabbed the woman’s arm and said, “Your son is about to die.” Judging by the reaction that this woman had, she did in fact have a son.

Well, my speculation about Vicki being tired and perhaps worried certainly did not explain her spouting prophecy. I became quite nervous. She did not calm down. We walked the three blocks to the dress shop, tried on our dresses and found matching shoes and she was tense and freaked out the entire time.

Luckily, she did not alarm anyone else with her predictions, but she was definitely not behaving normally.

When I arrived back at home I called my father. I had barely spoken to him since I had left with my mother. He had called a couple of times and I heard that he had brought up my mother’s erratic behaviour during the divorce, but he never asked me to visit nor did he visit me.

The excuse that he had always used was that in order to speak to me, he would have to deal with his ex wife and that he found that this was enough of a barrier to not bother. So, when I left her house I called to let him know that I was no longer living with her. He assumed that I had called looking for money and had made it clear that he was not going to give me any. I decided to just let it be and did not bother him after that.

So, I got my father on the phone and did my best to try to explain to him what had happened on my shopping trip with Vicki. I expressed my concern about her mental well being and asked him what we should be doing. He essentially told me that it was all in my mind and that I was exaggerating and that it was nothing to worry about. How I wish he had been correct.

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

Keep Reading: Lambs to Slaughter

www.wendypowell.ca

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