For myxbeautifulxlove's challenge - Train Crashes
It took me a while, but (yay!) it's done. Hope you like it, and that it's not too bad.
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The tracks were bleeding crimson again.
And he was still haunting her.
Five years past, and he was still a ghostly glow on the horizon of her thoughts. Five years past, and she was still able to see his face among the swirling crowds of unknown faces. Five years past, and her waking nightmares were still the sound of his laugh and the blue of his eyes. He was still following her, even in death, and she wondered if she would ever forget him.
Now, every anniversary, there would always be a highway ride and stop at a flower stand, and afterwards she'd spread the yellowed newspaper against the car's steering wheel, back slumped against the driver's seat. Following, there would be a left turn, a right turn, and then a straight drive down the back roads as she'd glance away from just an ordinary cemetery, lower lip trembling and vision growing misty. And as she fought the losing battle of oncoming tears, as she made a sharp left and the cemetery vanished from her rearview mirror, another anniversary led her closer to the sheen of the deadly tracks and the memory of twisted metal, death hanging over that area in her mind like a cloud of acid rain.
And then she was there, car wheels crunching over abandoned gravel, the ghost town of a train station echoing with long ago screams as it became shadowed by memories.
The echo of her car door slamming would always make her jump out of her skin after she stepped out of her car, her shelter from the haunted reality shattered and her body exposed to the autumn wind. And as the frayed edges of that newspaper clipping fluttered in her hand, as the white roses brushed their silken petals against her fingers, and as her brunette hair whipped into her eyes, she remembered.
And the tears came.
A midnight train. A broken track. And a friend she loved with all her heart riding that metal beacon back home after a week of departure, rain pelting her car's windshield as she drove calmly across the main road to get to him. They were but miles apart. That speeding demon was bleeding smoke into the air as the wheels of her car drove toward it, both coming in opposite directions for the same reason: a reunion. And her car played some new, hit song, and she hummed along to it, the falling of rain making her drive only slightly slower than normal. She was still half an hour away, but she could make it on time so he wouldn't have to get drenched by the rainfall.
She remembered how excited she'd been to see him again.
It was puzzling when she pulled into that station and saw that he wasn't there. From the confusion on other faces, she saw that they also didn't understand why the train was ten minutes behind schedule, since no memo had been posted that the train had been held up. And, one by one, people stepped out of their cars, umbrellas opened and heads turned to the left curiously as they inched towards the tracks, waiting for the train.
The train that never came.
She couldn't remember who it was now that had come out of the rainfall to shout that a horrible accident had occurred. All she could remember, through that haze of screams and heart-wrenching sobs, was slipping on drenched gravel and running with bleeding knees as her heart pounded faster than should've been possible and liquid that wasn't rain slipped down her cheeks and into her mouth. And then she remembered stiffening, evergreen eyes the exact color of the rain-washed greenery around her widened in horror, she violently gasping for breath until her stomach heaved and she was sick all over the grass, several others mimicking her actions. And she knew he was dead before people could even speculate if anyone was alive, because, though she was never an optimist, she needn't be a pessimist to know that no one could survive that wreckage.
The memory scattered away with the sound of his name on her lips, and as she fell to her knees and held her body up only by her arms extended and her fingers digging into the gravel, she shook her head and let the tears fall, his bouquet of flowers beside her. Five years and she still hadn't been able to move on; she still hadn't been able to let go.
And she probably never would. Not with his spirit still alive to her and following her wherever she went.
In her dreams she could touch him, hold him like he was physical and there with her in her bed, tickling her ear with the same stupid jokes he used to tell her when they'd brave the storms that startled her together. In the crowds he would always be smiling from afar, shoulders slumped casually because his hands were in his pockets, and he'd be waiting for her to get over her unease and go to his side instead of running away. And now, as the tears trailed from her cheeks to fall onto her jeans and as the words of that newspaper clipping formed into his obituary and retold his death all over again, he was kneeling beside her, hand on her shoulder as he said her name again and again and told her that he was there to help her.
And as she turned her head to the right, as she sniffled and her lips trembled, he was smiling back as his eyes closed in genuine bliss, and her heart ached for the real Roxas again.
He was her own personal ghost and spoke to only her, saying that he loved her and would never let go. And though it made her sob, and her head would drop at his words, she couldn't chastise him at all. She didn't want him to let go.
She was in love with him, too.
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I like the end. In my opinion, it has a kind of twist to it. -shrug-