Chapter 3: The Blank Spaces on the Map

Goodbye, Sissy

Written September 29, 2015

I said goodbye to my sister today.  I hugged her, and for the first time in a month, she got on a train without me.  I watched her teal backpack disappear into the train door and thought, finally.  Finally I can choose my own path, stay places as long as I want, miss a train or two if I want.  Finally.  But what I felt wasn’t relief.

I made faces at her through the window for a couple of minutes as the train idled on the tracks.  Something seemed to occur to her, and she came to the door.

“Wait, did you want me to take your tennis shoes home for you?”  She had been grumbling about having to do just that this morning.

“Nah, I’ll keep them,” I said.  “But wait—can I have the socks you wear with your flats?”

Without hesitating, she took them off and stuffed them in my hand.

A minute later, the train rolled down the platform.  I watched her through the window until I couldn’t see her anymore, and then I watched the train until it turned out of sight.

Finally, I could take as much time drinking coffee in the morning as I wanted without her argumentative haughty voice chiding me for being late again.  I should have felt free.  Instead I felt alone in the big train station, in the midst of people and trains crossing back and forth in front of and behind me.

From now on, almost all the people I interact with for the next three and a half months will be people I haven’t met yet.

On to the next adventure, then.


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