The train conductor announcing that they would be arriving soon woke her from her semi slumber. She realized she was slouched over in her seat, clothes askew, she probably looked a mess. She sat up and straightened her clothes, ran her hands through her hair and pulled out her compact to check her make up.
The sun was peeking up through the horizon to the east and she looked at her watch. Just before seven, they were right on time. She still couldn’t believe that she actually slept on the train, she must have been more tired than she thought. If she was honest with herself- she had been exhausted, both physically and mentally. It was probably a blessing she got some rest, she was going to need all of her strength to get through the next few days.
The train finally came to a stop and she got all of her bags together and got ready to get off. Her eyes glanced out the windows and she took in the quaint, but desolate station. She breathed in the cool air as she got off of the train. It was so quiet here. No cabs, no traffic, no one there except for the man behind the ticket counter reading a paper while he enjoyed his morning coffee.
She tightened her scarf, the air was brisk, and it felt like snow. She looked up at the clouds which were thickening. Great, just what I need she thought. She started walking towards town and decided to stop at a small diner, she only had that coffee last night, she had been too nervous to eat and her stomach growled now.
She went inside, the diners’ warmth welcoming as she found a booth in the back. Country music played from a radio behind the counter and the motherly waitress walked over with a coffee pot.
“Good morning dear, coffee”?
“Please” she said with a smile.
“My names Gert, let me know when you’re ready to order” said the waitress with a smile.
She opened the menu and zeroed in on the “special”. Even with all the thoughts going through her head she felt like she could eat a horse. She caught Gert’s eye and after she came back to the booth she ordered. She looked at the paper place mat covered with local advertisements. Some construction workers came in and sat at the counter, glancing at her with interest. She looked out the window seeing the first few flurries beginning to fall. She began to compulsively pick at a loose thread in her sweater, not realizing it was unraveling the edges.
As he drove through the night he drank coffee, knowing he needed it to stay awake. He stopped at a rest area and filled up his gas tank, used the rest room and grabbed a sandwich, chips and switched to Red Bull. After he paid the cashier he glanced at the map trying to figure out which of the stops she might’ve gotten off at.
He looked at the notes he’d jotted down. He’d accessed the train schedule from his cell phone and had written down all the stops her train made. Seven stops in total, he was about ten miles from the first stop. The second, fourth and fifth stops were simply that, stops. They were in the middle of nowhere so he could cross them off of his list. That left four stations she could’ve gotten off at. He knew the longer it took him to get to each stop the worse his chances of finding her.
He got back into his car and headed west, opening the chips and compulsively eating them without thinking. Flurries began hitting his windshield lightly at first then they became heavier.
If this was any indication, this wasn’t boding well.