Train of Thought #11: Since You’ve Been Gone

In an earlier Train of Thought, I wrote about a young couple who I saw every morning on my daily commute and against whom I had taken an unjustified prejudice.  (No reason why you should remember the account but, if you are interested, you can read about it here.  Ed.)

Except now they’re gone.

The first week they were missing from their usual spot on the station platform, I put it down to illness––their matching clothes insufficient protection against the winter weather; by the second week of them being AWOL, I attributed it to a holiday––pictured them holding hands, à la Jet2Holidays, in some sunny, far-flung, hipster hangout; but now two months have passed and there can be no reasonable explanation for their continued absence.  I must accept the uncomfortable truth: they have gone.

And I find myself missing them.

Each morning, as I pass the place where they once stood, I picture them––annoyingly youthful, physically inseparable, sartorially identical––and I wonder where they have gone; what they are now doing.  I contrast my solid dependability with their flaky vagary.  Are they doing better?  Or are they doing worse?

In my mind, I construct a new fictional story about them: how one of them got a promotion and had to move away; how the other sacrificed their own career so that they could still be together to hold hands and wear matching outfits on some distant railway platform; how that sacrifice might turn into a nagging cancer of resentment, which would pierce their carapace of cosy impregnability, ultimately tearing them asunder.

But it is all fiction.  The chances are they’ll be back in their usual spot on the station platform tomorrow morning and I will be left none the wise about the reason for their time away.

But one thing won’t have changed.  I still won’t like them.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree is old and twisted and shakes his fist at babies.

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