TICKET TO RIDE

She disembarked at the station, suitcase in hand from an upper berth on the red eye to Butte. Montana was home once upon a time, before dreams took her to the big cities. New York was a mecca. Los Angeles, a chance at the life she craved.

But cravings dissipate, and mecca gets over-crowded with pilgrims looking for the answers to life. Why do people die? Will she ever get that high profile job? What business did he have leaving her for that perky little waitress from the 43rd Street Cafe?

Rowena had come back, at least for the next week to bury her father and get his affairs in order.

He didn’t have much since the nursing home found an opening for her tired and worn down Dad. He had submerged into a deep and vacuous dementia, not even knowing her the last time she visited.

Rowena stayed at the Boarding house, three rooms down from my little hovel. She had graced my life off and on since high school, but she always had her vision set for “out of here”.

She had lost her smile. I’m sure her father’s passing weighed heavily on her shoulders, but it seemed more than that. She looked… lonely!

I had passed her on the stairs heading for the memorial service, and she had looked right through me. I felt for her. Rowena once had a beautiful smile.

I had asked her if she thought about coming back on a more permanent basis. She shrugged and looked off misty eyed. I wanted to take her into my arms and comfort her, but she needed to escape; her train was to depart in an hour. It was a shame. I think she knew it just by looking at me. I looked… lonely too! I thought it would do us good to be lonely together.

But, she’s leaving today. I think I’m going to be sad.

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