It was a soft, sun-washed morning, and in a miraculous turn of events, I was awake quite early. I stumbled out of bed, opened my email with blurry eyes, and behold, there was an email from Jo. She wanted to write a story… with… me?
See, backstory: Jo is one of my favorite writers. She has a unique, beautiful way with words, and if you’ve read her blog at all, then I know you’ll agree. So, when she wanted to write with me, I was excited to say the least. *happy nod*
The story that we came up with is kinda cool, if I do say so myself. Scroll down to read Jo’s first half of the story… and then head over to her blog for the second half, written my me. :)
*you are standing by the empty tracks, the evening sun warm on your face, soft music coming through your earbuds*
*in the distance, a train approaches*
the tracks go on forever | part one
Packing up. Quickly. Did you hear that? Quickly.
Clothes are swiftly tossed into heavy duty bags, pictures are taken from the dirty walls, the books and trinkets from the Family are shoved into special cases and locked up tight.
Someone forgot their phone. Nobody notices, everyone’s too busy getting their things. That’s the shuttle, it should be coming any minute now. Do you have the passports?
Oh my– don’t tell me you forgot
The temptation to spout in native tongue is ever present, but not today, not here, not in front of all these people. They’d take one look and go “look at them. That’s why we need the wall. To keep them out.”
Just, for God’s sake, PLEASE don’t get lost. this is a whole country and I cannot, I cannot have to watch you every. single. time.
Eyes close as hands curl up on a glass of water. The dry throat has been satiated. A sigh comes, and it is matched by the sighs of other people around you, just like you.
They are going too.
Where are you going though? Nobody knows. Does it matter? you’re getting there anyway.
The medicine isn’t enough. Maybe they’ll let you have a prescription there, maybe it’ll be cheaper. Insulin is so hard to come by these days, and what with moving to a new country–
Swallow some pills, it’s better than nothing.
The shuttle comes. It’s an old transport cart that used to be attached to a cargo train for boxes of dog feed. Now it’s for everyone who was turned down by US immigration.
Hey, GET the passports, just because they won’t take it doesn’t mean they’re not worth anything. That we’re not worth anything.
Breathe. Look at the morning sun and feel the chills set on your shoulders.
Then step inside.
Lean in. Sigh. Repeatedly. Do not cry, crying is for the weak. We are on our way to a much better life. Maybe this time there’ll be jobs. Good jobs, not just the ones in the alleys.
There are no windows. If there were windows, you could probably see the blur of sand and dirt and the occasional tree, but there are never any windows in a transport car. Instead a hundred people huddle in the dark, some watching videos from their phones, if they’re rich enough to have them.
Hey, take those earphones off, you won’t hear when I call you.
You don’t listen. Fine then.
Eyes close and hope the light comes soon enough. Sometimes the eyes open and gaze at the daughter, the husband, and that fool child who can’t stop dreaming.
But the heart knows how wise that child really is.
There are cracks of sun that slip in through the tiny gaps where metal touches metal. Head cranes slightly, ever so slightly.
After God knows how much more of this, the transport opens. Bodies trip over bodies in the attempt to get out. Blink in the dark. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Hey, you STAY with me.
There’s a small hotel that doesn’t blink an eye when people swarm the lobby and ask for shelter, and they give a room to all. To all, thank God.
Hands run over the old mattress. Collapse.
We’ve made it.
/// the tracks continue //
Do you enjoy Jo’s writing as much as I do?
– Clara <3