Waiting

I sit on a bench, tapping my foot anxiously. I keep my phone on my leg, but I don’t use it as a distraction—I only keep it handy so I can check the time. I look up at the board. My train hasn’t been delayed. Then where is it? 

The station is crowded with people running back and forth, families on holiday, businessmen going to work, individuals travelling for a fun day out. The chatter is a distinct hum in my ears, filling my every thought, like an earworm that cannot be gotten rid of. 

The hustle and bustle only heightens my nerves. What if I don’t make it on time? What if I sweat through my clothes so much that I’m a soggy mess by the time I arrive? They’ll hire somebody else. They won’t care if the train is late, they won’t care if I got to the station an hour early just to make sure I arrived on time. 

I look at my phone again. One mere minute has passed, but it has felt like a lifetime. I check the board again. No change. I once again become aware of the tumult around me. 

It’s like an endless cycle that my mind goes through: time, board, people. The ridiculous part of my mind considers that I could remain in this cycle forever, the train never coming, everyone else always moving, time moving forward while I’m stuck on this bench for eternity. 

The tapping of my foot quickens. It feels like there’s not enough oxygen in this place, like the sheer number of breathing people has stolen it all from me. 

The cycle begins anew. Time, board, people. Still, no train. 

Maybe it’s never coming. Maybe it’s already passed and I didn’t see it—

A rumble shakes me from my thoughts. The approaching train reads my destination and I jump up without hesitation. I check my phone—it’s three minutes late. I glance at the board, which still claims no delay. Finally, I say goodbye to the bustling people. 

And I breathe a sigh of relief as I step onto the train. 


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