He took her hand, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I would have hoped you’d understand.”
“What’s to understand? We’ve been together since, well since we shouldn’t have been together.” She was crying a little now, “But I know, I mean I should have known, I can’t compete with those fancy eastern girls you met at that stupid college.”
He’d tried to time this right, his train left in ten minutes. That would give him enough time to tell her, let it sink in and then hop on the train back east. An easy escape. But it wasn’t working out, she wasn’t taking it easy. “It’s not that Bets, sometimes you just meet someone and it feels right.” The conductor was starting to shoo people onto the train.
“Pullman sleepers to the rear, coaches to the front. We’re running two minutes late, all aboard folks!” The conductor pulled a lantern out and lit it, the flame glowed red and green through the Fresnel lenses. He was getting ready to highball the engineer. The sound of steam escaping as the brakes released.
“Bets I gotta go.” I’ll write you, try to explain it better.
“Save your time and your 3 cents. I won’t read it”. She walked back to the parking lot.
From the train window he could see her car still sitting there. Snow piled up on the windshield. Was she sitting there crying? He would write to her anyway. And as the train pulled away, he pictured her in rolled up jeans, daring the boys to throw her off the monkey bars, or in her first dress at the school dance. And he couldn’t help thinking he’d made a horrible mistake.