The train moves along. It’s still fairly dark out as the sun doesn’t come up for another half an hour. So glad there are not many people on board, I feel foolish enough with my sunglasses on. How did my life get so messed up? How did I let it? I’m such a fool. I let him do this to me. I let him bring fear into my heart and was not strong enough to fight it. Well, no more. Ok, there’s still fear, a ton of it, but I need to be strong. Maybe my new life will be better. Maybe I can find some happiness, somewhere.
It all began in college. I thought he was everything. He was everything, to me. He seemed so sweet, so tender, and so loving. And he was, until we got married. The change was swift. The drinking started, the late nights coming home and the abuse. I had no family, no friends to help, well, except for Simon. But, we hadn’t spoken in years. I was so alone. Darrin was my world. All the friends we had were his, and they were no help. Oh yeah, they looked concerned when we got together, and they saw the bruises and the cuts, but they wouldn’t go up against Darrin. They were afraid of him, just like I was.
I’ve never been one to be afraid of things, or to back down from anything. In my 25 years, I’ve always been a strong person. I had to be. Once both my parents were both gone, I had to take control and stand on my own two feet. But, Darrin changed all that. He took my control, my self-esteem. I need to get that back and this is my chance at a new beginning.
The train stops once in a while. A few people get off, and a few get on. I look at each place to see if this is where I should begin my new life, except none of them feel right. I’ve been on the train for hours, slept a little but mostly stared out the window at the passing sights. Can I find a place to hide? Can I find a place to call home?
I must have dozed off again and am jarred by the sudden stop of the train. I look over to the other side of the aisle to see a station at what appears to be a small town. Where the hell am I? “Sterling, Wyoming. Sterling, Wyoming.” A man’s voice comes over the speaker. Looking out my window, I see, in the distance, mountains with snow. Beautiful. I’ve never heard of Sterling, Wyoming. I look back out the window across the aisle to see a sign.
I get up, grab my bag from the next seat and walk to the front of the train. Slowly going down the steps, stopping on the last one. Looking around, I see smiling faces of people walking, kids playing, and a dog or two walks by. I look over to see a popcorn stand. There is a girl standing behind it, smiling and talking with someone and handing them a bag of popcorn. People are in no hurry, as they walk by each other, some nodding a friendly ‘Hello’. As I step down from the train, I am met with people smiling and nodding at me, and a man tips his hat at me. I’m home.