by Kemal Onor

Jessica sat on a bench at the train station. Jim watched her. He suspected her of something. The way she had gone all the way up to the edge of the platform and looked for a while at the tracks. The way she sat there checking her watch again and again. The way she appeared to have no luggage at all. She didn’t carry flowers, either, for some out of town guest.

Jim was there to get his younger brother, who was coming back from college in Maine. He thought about approaching her, but decided not to. He was relieved when she left the platform for the station café. He followed her.

He watched her order a mimosa then sit down. He got a coffee, then sat down beside her.

‘Mind if I sit with you?’ said Jim.

‘No,’ said Jessica.

‘Are you celebrating something?’ He pointed at the drink.

‘No.’

‘Are you expecting someone?’

‘No.’

‘Is that your only answer?’

‘No.’

The two laughed. Jim tried to look at Jessica, but she kept her gaze moving about the café, avoiding his eyes. From some distance a train whistle pierced the air. Jessica stood abruptly and left the café. Jim followed her back to the platform. She ran to the edge of the platform. Stood like a diver before the plunge. Jim ran after her.

‘Don’t do it,’ he said. The train was less than a hundred feet from the station. Jessica kept her face forward, refusing to acknowledge Jim.

‘If you jump, I’ll never know your name.’ The train blew its whistle.

‘Jessica, my name is Jessica.’

‘Jim.’

And the train pulled into the station.

Kemal Onor has an MFA in writing from The Solstice MFA in Writing Program at Pine Manor College. His publications include West Texas Literary Review, The Chrononichle, and Pamplemousse. He has twice won the JSC/VSC Fellowship. He lives in Michigan.