Story-a-day day 17

Having migraines with aura’s makes writing and reading challenging. Unfortunately, this past three days have been even more so difficult with an earache on top of the migraine for the last four days. Yesterday, I tried Hyland’s earache drops. Day one was still painful as all get out but I’m happy to say day two is much better. I still have the migraine but tomorrow relief is in sight, I get my shots.

https://poets.org/poem/travel

@ Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away, 
    And the day is loud with voices speaking, 
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day 
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn't a train goes by, 
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming, 
But I see its cinders red on the sky, 
    And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with the friends I make, 
    And better friends I'll not be knowing; 
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, 
    No matter where it's going.

****************************************************

Lily stood watching the train disappear on the horizon and vowed that one of the times when the train left she would be on it. Her good friend, Sally, laughed and shoved her shoulder before sauntering off. “Get real, Lily.”

Lily shrugged her friend’s negativity aside. No way was she going to let anyone keep her in this no-where town one second longer. She hated living in Trenton. It sucked the life out of everyone that lived there. Just look at her friend, Sally knocked up with her second child. That worthless boyfriend of hers doesn’t keep a job for longer than to get another fix. Sally has more excuses than the dictionary has definitions. But it doesn’t matter, she’s living at her parent’s home, taking care of a toddler with another child on the way.

Lily glanced at her phone, noting the time. She scurried home to get into her uniform. She hated the smell of grease, french fries and onions. The smells had soaked into her clothing no matter how many times she washed them , Lily ‘s room even with clean uniforms reeked of fast food.

She glanced under her mattress to check her stash. The crumpled bills totaled sixteen hundred dollars. She needed two more paydays to have enough but she wasn’t sure her sanity would last that long or that the girl would hold the room for her. Lily was scared that Judy would find another taker before she could scrap the required funds. There had to be a way she could get the money sooner but how. Lily made another vow, she was never going to be poor again after this.

Lily drudged through another shift at grease central. It was all she could do not to tell her boss where the sun shone but she didn’t. She dodged groping hands on her way home from the neighborhood homies before collapsing on her bed. She reached under the mattress to reassure herself the stash was still there before falling asleep.

*****

Clenching her exhausted eyes shut from the sun’s daggers Lily pondered every angle of her plan. The train ride was one hundred dollars, and the apartment was twelve hundred leaving her a measly three hundred to live on until she got a job. What if she didn’t get one. She didn’t have enough to cover month number two. But, if she waited the room could disappear, and then she wouldn’t have a place to stay while she got a job. Lily knew she was running on fumes. Go or stay?

Go. Nothing was going to stop her from chasing her dream. She threw her clothes into a bag. Lily grabbed a couple of bracelets, her teddy bear and her toiletries. She decided to leave her Mom, a lipstick heart on the mirror before leaving the room. She closed the door but then realized that she hadn’t grabbed her stash from under the mattress. She took a deep breath and closed the door on this life.

Lily walked to the train station. She purchased a one way ticket to Manhattan. She smiled thinking the city that never sleeps will soon be home. She looked back at Trenton’s skyline, her Momma was going to be heartbroken. The train whistle snapped her back into the moment. It’s now or never.

“All aboard.”

“Letting go of the past means opening up to the future, and sometimes the unknown is scarier than the past.”― Tamara Lechner

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