It was a chilly Saturday morning, and a cool mist lingered in the air. I sat at a lonely and quiet train station with my golden retriever lying beside me on the old bench. There was going to be a fight that day; not between Bailey and I, but between gangs. Apparently some of our members trespassed on another's territory, and if we were going to do that, territories had to be reclaimed by fighting. Honestly, I didn't want to be involved. I wasn't in the mood, and the fight would be meaningless anyway.
After about an hour of waiting and reading a newspaper while listening to my iPod, the train arrived. As it came to a stop, I carefully pulled my dog to her feet using her leash, and together we made our way on board. After giving the motorman my ticket, I wandered around wondering where to sit (I'm very particular with being near the window). At first glance, it appeared the train was empty. At last I spotted a young woman in a business suit, typing away on a laptop with a briefcase at her side - figures it was Bailey.
Just to try to piss her off, I sat next to her. She ignored me. I patted my knees, and summoned my dog, "C'mere, Bailey." Yeah that's right, when I got my dog 4 years ago, I named her after my to-be-rival. Excitedly, she wagged her tail and leapt up onto my lap. Petting her, she curled up into a ball and fell asleep.
The 'human', Bailey, finally acknowledged me after the mentioning of her name. "You named some flea-ridden mutt after me?" she asked with a bit of disgust in her tone. I wasn't in the mood to argue either, so I simply nodded in response. She rolled her amber eyes. "Why? Because you think I'm a bitch?"
"Because I like the name, and her fur matches your hair," I snapped back. The antagonizer didn't reply after that; instead, her eyes returned to the laptop screen, and she began typing again. I sighed, facing the window and looking out. Just one more time I yearned for the chance to have a decent conversation with her. Not knowing if I'd ever be able to again, I decided now was the time.
"So where are you going?"
Seeming edgy, she shut her laptop, slipped it into her briefcase, and without looking at me, answered, "I've got a conference meeting in New York; I'll be there for a few days. Lucky for you, that means you won't have to put up with me in school." That was somewhat of a relief. Not being tortured and having a little peace? I wouldn't mind that.
My mind was left wandering. I lifted my arm and rested my cheek on my hand, oblivious to what I was revealing by doing so. At that moment, Bailey's eyes flickered up and she was able to catch a glimpse of what was on my wrists.
"You cut yourself...?"
My eyes shot wide open. That was the last thing I wanted her to see! Despite the fact it wouldn't make a difference, I hid my arm behind my back. "Why do you care? What're you gonna do: call me emo, freak, laugh at me?!" She narrowed her eyes seriously and held out her hand.
"Give me your wrist," she ordered. I shook my head. "Let me see!" she insisted more commandingly. Giving in, I reluctantly placed my wrist in her hand and watched as she lightly touched my scars and examined them. "Moron, why the hell would you do this?"
Instantly, I pulled my arm away and told her, "It relieves stress - stress that you've caused!" She appeared as if she was going to say something in protest, but she ended up turning away haughtily. I groaned, fed up.
"Bailey, why do you hate me personally?? This time I want a good reason!"
She did not answer. Perhaps she was too stubborn, too proud, afraid, or maybe she didn't have an answer. I don't know. Whatever it was, I decided to play along with the 'making-each other-angry' act. My dog still in my lap, I shifted my body so my back was pressed against her side. Crossing my arms, I waited for her to push me away.
She did not resist.
We both sat there in silence, waiting for each other to speak. Inevitably, neither of us did. What was probably merely a few minutes felt like hours to me. I had not gotten much sleep the night before, and eventually and on accident, fell asleep in the terminal with my head on her shoulder. In my subconscious, I dreamt we were friends once again, and we were enjoying one another's company at a local park. On our stroll she would ask me odd questions; for example:
"Who are you taking coffee - no sugar?"
"Who are you echoing street signs?"
"Who are you: a stranger in the shell of a lover, dark curtains drawn by the passage of time?"
After each question, the words would fade together like sweet sounding rain.
Some time later - I'm not sure how long - Bailey tapped on my shoulder and aroused me from my nap. "Is this your stop?" was the only question she asked now in reality. I peered out the window and recognized it as my ending point. I woke up my dog, and after she hopped off my lap to stretch, I rose to my feet. However, I didn't give a last word to Bailey until I got to the train's exit where I looked back at her.
Ready to leave, I said, "I'll see you around," and in seconds, I was gone.