Trains

Watching the yellow train pass by just as soon as she made it to the platform, Sarah shrugged in defeat. Puffing a little air out of her mouth to blow a lock of hair off of her face she was reminded of her motto: never run for any man or any form of public transportation. And 96% of the time, she followed that rule. Gazing around at the crowded platform, she let herself be absorbed into the horde of commuters. After a few bumps, she found herself against a cool concrete wall that came up right below her chest. It served to protect anyone who might fall between the divide of the platform and rest of the terminal. Turning her body away from the crowd, she let her arms dangle off of the ledge of the concrete wall and rested her chin upon it. The objects were the usual things that you would see abandoned and pushed off to the side: a plastic water bottle, a crushed paper cup, an empty chip bag, a blue ribbon, a condom? Sarah looked closer and examined the long translucent tubular shape. How did a condom outside of its wrapper end up here? Sarah thought for a moment, knowing that she had a decent chunk of time to waste until the next yellow train arrived (approximately 12 minutes), and began to think about how wrapper-less condom could have ended up there.

Sally’s body was damp with perspiration due to the unseasonably warm weather. The hem of her ocean blue checkered uniform clung to the back of her thighs. However, despite this, her hair was pulled up neatly in a high pony tail, and a navy blue ribbon tied into a bow held it up. Not a single strand was out of place. She cradled her astronomy notebook in the nook of her left arm and prepared her subway ticket to tap into the terminal. “HEY SALLY!” she could hear Johnny yell, 20 feet away. She rolled her eyes and breathed in deeply in preparation for whatever Johnny had in store for her today. She paused right before the gate and watched him push his way through the crowd to get to her. If she was damp, Johnny was outright soaked. His tie was loose, and there were large wet patches all over his white button down shirt, no longer crisp from the beginning of the day. 10 feet before he reached her, Sally turned to continue her way through the gate and waited for him to rummage through his messenger bag to get his ticket out.

 

“Hey, how’s it going, Sally O’Malley?” Johnny asked, winded.

“You know I hate it when you say, O’Malley. It’s not even my last name.” Sally retorted.

“Yeah, but you know it rhymes. Hey, guess what I found last night in my dad’s dresser?” he asked reaching into his bag before she could guess.

Between his pointer and middle finger, was a shiny wrapper with serrated edges. “Durex” was written all over the package and a prominent circle protruded out.

“You did not steal a condom from your father!” exclaimed Sally.

“I did” he smiled mischievously. “Don’t you want to see it?”

Johnny took the wrapper between his teeth and tugged on it until it tore. Clear liquid oozed out as he took out the ring from the pouch.

“It’s not as long as I was expecting it to be…” he said as he examined the ring.

“You’re supposed to stretch it out” Sally replied with her face scrunched up.

Together they pulled the condom apart, Johnny holding onto the stiffer ring structure and Sally pulling the tip out. They take a moment and look at the stretched condom.

“The Yellow Train is approaching the platform. Please step back and let passengers exit the doors before you enter the train.”

“Oh shoot!” Sally yelled, “That’s my train!” in a hurry, she tugged the condom from Johnny’s hand by accident and ran to the platform. Realizing she was running with a moist condom through the station, she flung it into the air hoping it wouldn’t hit anyone in the face. Her hair began to loosen from the tight pony tail, and with one last stride, she was able to jump onto the train before the doors closed, but not without losing her long navy blue ribbon that now lay limply on the floor outside of the train. A man in a black suit stepped on it while he was shouting loudly into his phone.

 

When Sarah was satisfied with her story, she looked up only to see a little girl staring at her from the window of a yellow train departing from the platform.

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