Midnight Train

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Every classic story starts with “once upon a time”. Well that’s only in the classics. Life is no classic fairytale, and so why should mine be any different? 

My once upon a time starts about twelve hours ago. I was an ordinary kid with split up parents and a typical bad school life people see in the cinema. I wanted to get anywhere but where my problems were, always running from something. 

My parents were going through a divorce, and school was always a nightmare for me, which only caused my desire to leave the NYC public school society. It didn’t help that I was the biggest failure in all my classes. 

I wanted to leave, so desperately, but never in a million years would I have dreamed it would come. I got my chance to leave reality behind. A true way to leave this world. 

 

***

 

Days were always longer than they were ever meant to be, especially if you had to ride the subway. Trust me, if anyone ever forgot their headphones, or literally any other form of entertainment, they doomed themselves to the trenches of boredom. I happened to be the lucky guy in the last car with the least amount of people in it. I forgot my favorite pair of earbuds on the counter of my dad’s apartment, but I always brought an extra pair in my pit of a backpack. 

I stared into the window of the subway car, seeing my reflection staring back at me: a boy who was 6’1 with dark hair and blue eyes, with a uniform that was a little too small. 

My dad had enrolled me into the prestige school, knowing I was a failing student. “It’s not your fault that your grades are so low, Ryken. It’s the way you’re being taught, back in my day…” and then he would ramble on for a good half an hour about something I had heard a million times before. 

The first time I had tried to explain that I was just a bad student, he wouldn’t hear any of it, so I had stopped trying to explain. 

The train came to a stop, and I walked to blocks to school, where my “once upon a time” would start taking off. 

 

***

 

Gryffin High School was possibly going to be the death of me. 

At least I tolerated my old school, but here, I always watched the clock, and always alone at the lunch table. 

It’s weird in a sense, people nowadays, I mean. I know they see me in the hallways, and alone at my own lunch table in the corner. It does take a toll on you after a while. After that, they deem you as the weird kid who sits alone, they continue on with their lives looking at their screens and acting like you’re invisible. It drives you insane after a while. 

Of course, today would change everything. I didn’t know it back then, and let me just clarify one thing: if there was anyway I could see myself now, I would’ve thought I really was going crazy. 

That day though, that day someone saw me. It felt nice. 

I had just went to my math class after lunch, and a girl- a cute one- sat in my normal seat. I didn’t mind, but everyone knows that even a seating change can throw off your entire routine… Even if it is an unpleasant one. I sat next to her, and flipped to the page we were working on the previous day. 

“Hi,” she says in a soft voice, leaning toward me. 

“Hey.” 

“What did you get for number seven? I can’t figure it out.” 

I stared blankly at my equally blank paper. “I’m not even going to lie on this one, I don’t even know.” 

“Oh I know,” she laughed, “I hate math, it’s my worst subject.” 

“Tell me about it.” 

I spoke more words within those two minutes than I had all day. 

Unfortunately, the bell rang and I never got to finish talking to her, though I wish I did, and she left for the guidance office in the middle of class, never coming back. 

Well, there goes my chance to get a girlfriend. You didn’t even tell her your name, you idiot.

Of course, my seemingly better day got bumped down, because little did I know, my competition was the biggest jerk in the school. 

Guess it wasn’t meant to be anyway. 

I would describe the brainless jerk pushing me against the locker after the math class, and basically spitting in my face as he told me to stay away from the new girl, and then giving me a black eye.

But it would be a lot of humiliation on my part. 

So maybe the day that seemed like the best day for two minutes really wasn’t the greatest start to a new life, but all stories have to start somewhere, and mine was only just beginning. 

 

Next part coming next issue