The Midnight Train : 02

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How can a man be this beautiful? Soft hair brushing his forehead. Long eye lashes forming shadows under his downcast eyes. His fingers drummed around the coffee cup in a rythmic stucco. A silver ring glinting in the ambient light. Yet, like an illusion the reality is manifested. Zorais sat before her, yet no reflection of his was present in the large glass window beside.

Tell me it’s a dream.

Aniza’s pupils dilated in fear. Her eyes hardened at her own mug of coffee now seemingly cold. She can’t feel her heart beat, her breath chocked inside her chest, the warmth of her skin is not retained. The ambiance is lost in a noise, white. Her surrounding is suddenly too bright and cold. The lights are haunting creating jagged shadows on her own porcelain white skin. His ring finger tapping around the mug in a slow counted pace. His head hung down. Solemn.

But it can’t be, the man in front can’t be Zorais.

Because Zorais, is dead.

She killed him.

Like a broken camera reel it plays. A day blurry yet vivid, engraved in her memory.

It was a sunny mid day. The school rooftop was empty. A boy stood on the edge and a girl ransacked his bag.

“Please Give- give it back.”

“Sorry?”

“Give- give it back.”

“Oh. Take it.”

Pages and books fell with a thump. A broken used pencil rolled down the dirty granite floor. An old pencil case crashed down scattering the stationary all over. The noise was lost in the chatter of Lunch time. He kneeled to collect it all, it wasn’t new to Zorais. His eyes got blurry again. He hated himself for being so weak.

“Oh what is this.” Zorais looked at the girl to find a pouch in her hand.

Aniza looked at the gold bangles inside the pouch with piqued curiosity. Suddenly she erupted into a biting laughter.

“Zorais you theif. Where did you stole it from.”

“No! it’s my mother’s. Give it ba-” Aniza stepped back.

“Do you think I’m a dumb fool. You got no mum.”

“No really! its hers,”- he leaped for it, suddenly feeling a desperation he never ever felt.

“Prove it.” She said pushing him back.

“Give it!”

“No-” She pushed him again. “It’s the only thing I have of her.” Zorais found himself sobbing, helpless.

Aniza found it amusing. She didn’t hated the guy per say, It was just her twisted way of spending time with him.

“Here you go again. Maaan uppp. Here-” She extended the pouch towards him. Zoraiz leapt for it and Aniza pushed him yet again.

Maybe he had reached his end point, maybe because she was alone, or perhaps it was the fact that this time it was truly precious to him. Something worth fighting for.

Zorais found himself attacking back. It felt liberating to him, to stand up, for himself. He shoved her away and snatched it from her hand, holding it tightly to his chest. He sobbed. He sobbed with a fearful heart and courageous eyes.

“YOU!”

He saw the confusion in Aniza’s cold brown eyes turned into fiery rage. Hatred, confusion frustration, anger.

Why did she hate him so much?

What did he ever do to her?

He noticed how her large thick eyelashes rimmed her enraged eyes, how her hair looked unkempt in the moving wind. He realized how close she got, how haunting and empty the soul looked behind the young girl’s wide eyes. He felt a painful jab in his chest among the countless he is used to feeling. Aniza was beautiful to Zorais if only she was a bit kind.

She pushed him, like she always does. But this time, Zorais felt different. He felt his heart drop to his abdomen, the un-explainable fear of the unknown, the dooming feeling of being at the top of a humongous Ferris feel, going down. Zorais felt the earth beneath his feet disappear. His hands clutched the pouch to his heart, his clashing yin yang eyes darkened, suddenly finding himself looking right back at the glazing sun and a bright blue sky. That day Zorais true felt light.

Aniza had pushed Zorais, hard. Without realising how close he was to the railing.

She had seen him fall with wide shocked eyes. She had heard the sickening crunch of the impact of his frail body on the rough concrete floor. She had stared at his body bent in off places, twitching. She had almost smelt the fresh metallic smell of the blackened crimson seeping in the mud. His lips had trembled, but formed no words. That perhaps even in his death, he expected no compassion.

Two distinctly clashing eyes. One that of wet dirt and the other of the ravenous blue ocean under rumbling clouds. Aniza had seen the life bleed through his young innocent eyes.

The school suppressed the case. He was mentally ill. It was a suicide. Nobody knew and Aniza locked the demons of her conscience.

And now the truth is in front of her, teasing her. Too vivid to be called a dream. It makes no sense but he is here. The reality is here, in front her. The table and the coffee mug is all she dared to look at. Her eyes dilated in bone chilling fear.

“Excuse me. I have to use the restroom.”

She stood up and counted her steps to the restaurant door. Looking up at the yellow chandeliers, restaurant decor and her blurry reflection in the glass door, she pushed it wide open.

Then, she ran. Under the dark ominous blanket of night Aniza ran for her life.

The road seemed never ending. The train station a small glowing dot in the distance. Her own loud ragged breath creating a hollow cacophony in her chest. “No no no it can’t be.”

“It can’t be!”

She ran untill her scarf loosened and fell off, the cold bit her every bone.

“No no. It can’t be.” The cold air burned her lungs and scratched her throat.

“It can’t be.”

She fell on the dirt road. It scratched her skin. Aniza can’t feel, raw andreline rushing through her system. Her hair open and wild, flew in the wind. The gravel crunched under her sprinting boots.

“No, no!” His eyes, one like that of brown dirt, other like roaring blue ocean under gray rumbling clouds. It is burned in her conscience. The eyes she see when she closes her own. Every nightmare that inhaibts her own.

Aniza glanced back at the coffee shop. Suddenly, finding her heart turning into ice. A dark silhouette stood in front of the coffee shop. From the distance it was unrecognizable. The colors of the eyes turned to dim hues. But to Aniza it was vivid.

The unhinged look in Zorais eyes, and his wide deranged smile.

A blood curdling scream tore the fabric of a dark silent night. Regret, frustration, hopelessness. It was like a offsync melody in repeat, but the most prominent of them, fear. Like a painful frostbite, it froze its way deep into her beating heart.

Aniza ran as if in a never-ending hallucination. A nightmare. But in a nightmare you wake up. A nightmare, it ends. It was eternity for Aniza. Tears painted her face in streaks, her eyes bloodshot in fear. To anyone, Aniza would look insane. The train tracks got rough, pain shot through her legs and limbs. Her hands resting on jagged rocks.

Aniza found herself crouched on the ground. She fell, but when. A blinding light burned off of her profile.

The train station clock showed 00:00.

A horn blew in the distance, red and blue lights danced against the contrasting dark of the night. Hope crystallized in her veins, a warmth she welcomed. The wind was rough, the night at its darkest.

The midnight train has arrived.

It came like a fast paced wind. The train lights a whizz. It blew off Aniza’s hair in a wild frenzy. The light inside was burning white, the rain slowed down and Aniza jumped inside.

It was bright, too bright. The lights glaring into an ominous mood. The seats were clean, the smell of bleach strong. A few passengers sat here and there.

Aniza found herself sitting beside the window in front of a beautiful woman. Her heart was still beating loud in her ears, hands and feet numb, every exhale seemingly scratching her throat. Tell me it’s a lie. It was a dream, a nightmare. Her heart fell hollow and a disgusting feeling crept up her spine.

Like a late night dream, that doesn’t make sense. They run after you, you run after them. You fall down, you find yourself in your bed. It is so real one moment, so close, within your reach, then suddenly it’s away, so far away, ominous, vague. It’s too eerie to be real.

Where is Aniza? Why is she even here? Where is her brother? Why is she in the train station to begin with. Why- where is her phone. Her hands went frantic searching all over her.

What- what in the world is going on. Zorais. Zorais is alive. He shouldn’t be. She killed him.

“Looking for someone.” The woman spoke.

Aniza looked up. She shook her head in a no.

The woman was beautiful. Her eyes concerned looking at the frantic girl. Perhaps she thought of her to be insane. Aniza thinks so too. She’s going insane.

“Where to.” The woman asked.

“I don’t know.” Aniza stared, to nothing in particular.

Maybe it isn’t so bad. She’s safe. She’s safe.

Perhaps she should call her brother and everything will be fine.

“Ca-Can I use your phone please? I have to make a call.”

“Oh sure!” the woman reached for her purse dangling on her side and pulled out her phone. Relief washed over her in waves. Aniza sat there shaken, absorbing. Tears rolled down her eyes.

“Thankyou.”

The woman put forward her cellphone. The silver ring in her ring finger glinting in the bright train lights. “Here, Aniza.”

A feeling traps in her lungs, like a scream that curdles blood right in your veins. Recognition settles in her heart like a bloody poisoned knife. Aniza looked up at the soft brown eyes of the woman.

“How do you know my name?”

The train lights flickered. It was dark, then it was bright. A beautiful woman sat confused.

Then it was the color of wet brown dirt and ravenous blue ocean under thundering clouds. The color of his eyes. Unforgettable. There. In front. Zorais sat right there, looking at her with unhinged eyes and a soft deranged smile.

Red hot crimson bled in drops, almost black. He was beautiful to her, even in death.

“How can I not know you Aniza?”

Aniza’s vision turned dark. The last thing on her mind. A bright sunny day, and his clashing innocent eyes.

The hospital room was dark. Light turned off except the green lights in the monitor. Or the occasional beep with red lights. The murmur of doctors and nurses was a soft distant hush.

The night was at its deepest, the moon at its brightest, filtering it’s light to the figure wrapped in sodden sheets. She’s sweating so profusely.

A man sat in the corner watching the woman. His eyes filled with a sadness so deep that it overshadowns the darkness of the darkest nights combined.

Izhaar looked at his baby sister going through one of her many countless nightmares. Now, she will wake up delirious. Saying the same name over and over again. It cuts him. It makes him bleed.

It’s been years since her last episode, but after that night in the station, she has turned schitzophrenic.

Aniza opened her eyes and at once Izhaar came to his side. “Jaan ve zama.” (My life)

“Zorais.”She whispered. Fresh hot tears slid down her soft brown eyes. Suddenly she sat up. Her wide blood shot eyes looking at his brother.

“Bhai, Zorais, Zorais. He’s coming for me.” She shook her head frantically.

“He haven’t forgiven me. I- I Killed him?! I killed him.”

“No you didn’t. You killed nobody. . . Shh I am here. Iam here.”

“No I did! He won’t leave me. He won’t leave me. He’s there!” She shreiked and clutched her brother tight. “In the balcony! Who’s in the balcony?!”

“Shh. No one. Janem.”

“But. . .but-” his sister looked at him, confused. Why is his brother not believing him?

“He, he was there. I went with him. He was there. I swear!” Her fingers clenched onto his brothers shirt.

“Really! he was in that midnight train, he was in front of me. He was there, he was there, in the train. I swear!”

Izhaar gazed at her baby sisters ruffled hair and tear stained face. His gaze flickered at the balcony and back into her wide deranged eyes.

“Aniza, jaan ve zama. You arrived at the last one. There are no midnight trains.”

~END

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