Written by: roseyn
Charlotte is weeping, soft, subtle weeps.
Yogi finds her on the usual sofa, with the usual red wine. But this time she is staring at a silver framed photo. Yogi knows the photo. It is of her teenage son, Max. “What’s wrong?” he asks. Concern rings true in his voice.
Charlotte instantly straightens. “Nothing important.”
In Yogi’s short-lived experience, tears are not a sign of nothing important. He fast rethinks his story choice for the day.
And then begins his tale.
Every morning, fifteen-year-old Taj arrived at the small, quaint railway station at exactly 6:30am. He wore his regular long, grey pants and white shirt [not a good colour for a potato-farm worker such as him, but the only ones he had].
That day he arrived at 6:10am.
His little sister was having a very loud tantrum. Taj couldn’t wait to leave.
Inside the railway shelter, sat a girl. She appeared a similar age to him and wore a perfectly pressed dress with bold colours, a starch-paralysed bow in her dark pony-tailed hair, newly polished shoes and a smile unmistakeably full of hope and eagerness. In her hands was a fresh bunch of pink lilies.
An approaching train rumbled closer and she stood. She poised on tiptoes, her rounded chin high as the train halted, as the doors squealed open.
As not a single person disembarked.
The girl lowered her shoulders and walked away.
The next day Taj appeared early again.
No screaming sister this time.
As he hoped, the girl was there, a replicate of the day before, except for the slightly wilted flowers, the less rigid bow and her shoes, faintly brushed with reddish dust.
The train came.
As did the girl.
Her dress and bow now appeared unloved, the lilies irreversible.
Before she walked away, Taj called out to her.
The girl swung on dull-lustred shoes and glanced at him with wide, chocolate eyes. Tears shimmered from their corners.
“Waiting for someone?”
It was after all the obvious question.
Her answer came quickly and with too much emotion. “My mother. This time she promised… to come.”
Taj felt his heart rip. He knew of such broken promises. He quickly fished through his pockets and then handed her a small object.
The girl frowned. In her hand was a milky white stone.
“Keep it close to you,” Taj said. “And every night, make your one, true wish.”
For the next several days, Taj arrived early, the station always empty.
But Taj never lost hope.
He knew the power of his stone.
One only had to believe.
Nearly a month passed before he saw the girl again… laughing and hugging a short woman with the same wide, chocolate eyes as hers.
Yogi felt enormous joy.
Charlotte is smiling; her cheeks now dry. “I could use a stone like that,” she says.
Yogi stands wearing a special smile of his own, then plants something in Charlotte’s hand.
It is a small, milky white stone.