My name is Jamie-Leigh; all through high school it wasn’t the name I wanted, Jamie Leigh, Jamie-Leigh, aim those legs, aim those knees at me, at me. The taunts from the boys really put me on the lunch room map, but I am still thankful for my parents to give me a name, rather names. So thus I am here, standing in line for a train ticket, to go and visit the rents. My big bag of junk by my side, the same bag that jolts into my holey jeans and cuts at my leg, I have no other bag to carry all this junk. Shades on and set to maximum darkness, like a boss, trying to keep my cool to this endless waiting, it’s probably some old dude paying a thirty dollar ticket all in pennies, awesome, I could probably set off now and be there by foot by the end of this waiting.
“Next Please.” The weirdo behind the glass flicks his fingers at me; do I look like a dog? Don’t answer that. “What would ya’ like, hun?” He sparks a smile looking for an indication of the possibility of being that guy. No chance.
“One ticket to Maine, please.” I reply shoaling my scrunched-up money forward, my shadow eyes reflect and repel his smile from me; I do still have my straight face on today. He’s not for me, too much manly men in this world, I have dated his type before; I am the one who gets bored after or during the first date, after or during sex.
I sit down in my appointed seat, hulking my back next to me; the window will be my travel show on television and Taylor Swift will be my close friend, who lives in my I-pod, making me feel better about all my problems, she does her job well when I feel crappy. I love to just sit and watch people, not stalkerish, for example, like the woman shouting at her crying child, must be hard to be a mom, or the business man trying to act his way through life and finally the slutty woman trying to gain a watch to her new boobs and thin exterior, she must have recently split-up and is on the prowl, ready to pounce and rebound on some helpless sack; the business man looks like he’s not looking at her, over his paper. People are funny things.
I breathe on the window and draw a smiley face with my finger. As the train pulls out I catch a glimpse of myself, did I really come out looking like that? Yes, I am a petite woman, Yes, I have mousey-brown bedraggled hair, awesome, I bet everyone thought I looked like some tramp; no, I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but being 22 that is a good thing, right? To not be something you shouldn’t.
Taylor Swift, you legend, I loved that song. We are on our way home, but travelling through all of that laid snow should delay us. The business man and female player have finally found each other, grazing legs and eye screwing, I bet she is telling him about how no man has ever really satisfied her and all she is really looking for is someone who is there for her when she needs and he is eating it all up, thinking he could be that guy and all his words are working so well, while he is trying to hide his wedding band. Naughty – Naughty.
I look out of the window, trying to see wolves through the conifer trees as the train begins to slow. I hated this ride when I was a girl. The forest ran for so long and it was all you could see for miles, vast, that was the word my mom used when talking about it. The snow is coming down nice and heavy, Christmas has gone, get on with summer already. I look over at the two strangers, sucking the face off each other, I pretend I don’t notice but I do. It dulls me, shouldn’t I be having fun like everyone else, with someone who loves me for me, even if it makes them crazy. I prop up my face on my hands staring into the red striped fabric on the opposed seats. Taylor, please put me back in a good mood, 22, I love this song.
The train gains pace, it must have hit a snow wall or something, would have been funny to see a cow on the track. Trying to look in through the trees is hypnotic and rather tiring to the bored eye. A sigh. The forest swallows souls, so many trekkers have come to an abrupt end just walking through it, but I guess at this angle everything is fine. My eyes are heavy just like the snow. Catch you all at the finish line called home. Black.
I jerk forward. Everything is okay; the metal rail on the table cushioned my blow.
“What the hell!” I shout.
Everyone on the train is looking out of the windows, as the world reels itself past us. Every person on the train looks on in horror. This is one of those moments when my stalkerish spider-sense becomes handy, to know when everyone else around you looks scared, you should be too. The train creeks like floorboards as more speed is shown; trouble must have its hoists on us all. The whole train jumps, sending everyone into the air then off their seats, the cheaters help each other up, I am in the middle aisle; people begin to scream and shout for help, pulling helplessly on the lever of pull to stop, not only is it helpless but useless in the same hand. The whole train tips like a kid has gotten fed up with his toys, a dip in my stomach. Somersaults and tipple tails, it’s all gymnastics in nasty events. Black, again.
I manage to tear open my eyes; everything is distorted for a few seconds, wiping the snow from my face with a clean hand and pulling it back into focus, redness stains my fingers.
“I think I’ve cut my head, C’mon Jaim, let’s get up.” Psyching myself up.
I rise up, still in the sitting position, I look around; my surrounds do not look normal or familiar; that scares me more. For a minute I gain bearings.
“Is anyone there?!” I shout into disaster.
I loop my hair behind my hair and slowly pull myself up. The train is resting on its side, snow chucks in from the smashed windows that are now skylights.
“Hello!” There must be someone else here, please.
I climb over debris and lost luggage. My initial plan was to head for light.
“Please help me.” I faint woman’s voice comes from over near the gash in the roof of the train; I can see light but no person.
“I’m coming, just hang on.” I manage to reach the whole hole, the slutty woman is residing on her back, probably her favourite position, her legs in the train her body in the snow. Blood turns the snow, cherry slushy.
“My name is Alice, please, please help me.” Her tears say it all, but it is the tear across her belly raises a question. Now from watching E.R. and Grey Anatomy I know to stop a bleeding wound you must apply pressure, so I cup my hands over that slice of death.
“It’s okay; it’s not as bad as I can see.” Too much blood and it looks really deep. “I don’t know what to do, Alice.” Her bottom lip quivers, I don’t know if it is because of the pain or the freeze.
“We need to get help; do you have your cell on you?” She says gasping every other word.
“It was right beside me before the crash, but now, I don’t know.” I say trying myself not to cry and shiver.
“Okay, I need you to go look through someone else’s stuff and phone for help, can you do that?” Her gasps are really becoming erratic. I nod in agreement; I have no idea what I am doing.
“I will be right back, okay, just don’t try and move or anything.” I say.
I jump over her into the snow, I can see bag planted all over the forest floor; I sprint in big step into the forest.
Darkness shrouds everything, nothing grows here, but bad things live here. Push it to the back of your mind, Jamie, you are stronger than this.
I race for a bag suitcase the contents of which have been spread all over the floor. I route around, nothing. My head spins around frantically looking for my next purse, God, I feel like such a kleptomaniac. A pink handbag stands out more than others, so that is my next one. I race on over and turn the whole thing upside down, notebook, tampons, pregnancy test, make-up… A phone.
“Hello, is anyone else alive?!” A man’s voice echoes from the train wreck.
I stand to see if I can see, I let my guard down. A twig snaps behind me. A groaning growl puts the fear of Hell within me. I slowly turn, tree, tree, tree, tree. A Bear stands about twenty-five yards in front of me, his eyes fixed; he roars again, I am taken aback a few steps. He comes down off his hind legs and claws at the air.
I don’t think, I run through that forest like someone set off the fire alarm and this was no drill. I can hear him behind me, I forget to scream; the tears pour from me like they were their last time to show face. I jump over small dying logs and brush. He is getting closer and closer, I can almost feel his breath.
I try to look behind me, as curious as I am and fall, slamming myself into dead plants and dry leafs. I quickly turn onto my back and edge backwards on my balls of my converse shoes. The bear doesn’t relent in his attempt for food.
“HELP ME!” I have finally found my voice. Is this it?
From out of nowhere a gigantic tree comes spiking through the air, ploughing itself into the side of the bear, the scribbles of the branches rest at my feet. I sit there horrified, still scared and awestricken.
Questionable, I look in the direction where the tree laid roots. A young man stands there, half-naked staring at me, out of breath, he looks so dirty. I don’t even think he knows its winter as the temperature is well below minus.
“Hi, we need help just over there.” I shout on over to him. He slants his head, almost like he had no idea to what I just said. He looks up into the trees and spots a squirrel jumping from branch to branch, smiling at it.
He takes one more look at me with that smile and takes off running into the darkness and scribbles of drooping plant life. I stand, trying to look for the mystery dude. The bear takes back my attention; I look at the dead beast, laying under that trunk. The tree looks to weigh at least a few tonne. How is that even possible? Who was that guy?
Too much to think about, I must get back.
I race back to the train-wreck, phone still in hand. This day cannot get any worse.