The Train

Hello everybody! Sooo I'm in a creative writing class this semester in school, so lately I've been sharing pieces from there. I'm not really sure how I feel about this one, but I thought I might as well share it and see what you think. Feel free to leave constructive criticism. Thanks for stopping by!
-Mischief Managed,
July

The Train
The first thing Leander noticed about Maeve was the crimson colored stain that hung on her lips. They mesmerized him, her lips, and whenever she laughed, he would watch them curl up at the ends and tighten over her teeth in a happy grin.
The first thing Maeve noticed about Leander were his eyes. They were strange and didn’t seem to match anything else about him. Maeve later described them as bold African deserts, unforgettable and entangling, but always somehow changing.
Their paths crossed purely by coincidence the first time-- a crowded city train, people together like clothes in an overstuffed suitcase, and only one seat left. A puff of smoke escaped from a fat man’s cigarette and filled the dim compartment as both Maeve and Leander weaved their way from opposite sides through briefcases, legs, and shopping bags. Leander reached the last seat first, but Maeve was not too far behind. Her eyes searched for a remaining seat, and upon finding none, her lips parted halfway in tiredness, and she adjusted her standing position into a more comfortable one.
“Oh, here,” Leander, being a gentleman, quickly noticed Maeve and stood up, offering his seat politely to her.
“Thank you,” Maeve nodded to him, and their eyes locked for one dangerous, life-altering second.
The two spent the remainder of the 20 minute train ride next to each other but avoiding the other’s gaze, only starting when they were sure they wouldn’t be caught. Leander may have now forgotten how on that day, Maeve wore an off-white button up blouse with a wine colored skirt, and how her golden brown hair sat pinned up in their classic curls, but he will never forget the call of her perfectly delicious lips. Everything about them, shape, color, everything, made him fall in love with her that day. And even Maeve may have now forgotten Leander’s dark brown slacks paired with a clashing striped sweater that fit a little too tightly, but she will never forget the way his eyes had appeared that day. Their warmness seemed to invite her into his intense depth, and she had never seen anything like his eyes before.
When the train stopped at Maeve’s station she rose quickly to exit. In a final thanks to Leander, she handed him a wrinkled receipt with a number on the back, and strode away. Leander looked up in confusion.
“What’s this?” he asked, but Maeve was already gone. He sank down into her seat and unfolded the glossy paper which revealed a delicately scrawled phone number. His mystical eyes stayed locked onto the number, memorizing every curve of the ink, until the train pulled up at his station and he neatly folded the paper and placed it into his side pocket.
And that was 65 years ago. You can probably guess what happened after the train. Leander waited a few weeks, then just as Maeve was beginning to think he would never call, he called and asked to meet her at Bryant Park for a walk. She did, of course. And not long after that, when their times together became more and more frequent, Leander asked if they could officially “go together”, to which he received answer by a delicate, lovely kiss on the mouth that made his whole body jingle. They fell absolutely in love, married, and had three kids, all of whom are grown now. Whenever they were excited, happy, joyful, scared, or anxious, they would clasp hands and give each other a reassuring squeeze. Even through difficult times, their love maintained a special flame that only burned stronger after each test; it was a beautiful thing-- never ending, unconditional, passion-filled, and they were more in love than anyone else.
Today, Maeve was taken to the hospital, her fierce fight with cancer drawing to a close. When Leander squeezed her grey hand with tears leaking out of his face, he was only answered with a frail bit of pressure back. She lay slightly propped up on the sickly white sheets, her eyes scrunched closed to avoid the intense hospital lights above her. All three children and eleven grandchildren were gathered around the room singing Maeve’s favorite hymns and retelling their favorite memories of her.
Maeve’s breathing slowed to a whisper. Her wonderful life was being stolen, ripped right out of her hands, and her time on earth was coming to an end. Her lips had become chapped and dry, but for once, Leander was not paying attention to them.
“Dad?” their oldest daughter said.
“Mae…” he called quietly to his wife, his voice breaking. “Open your eyes,” he pleaded. “Please.”
Maeve fought to keep her spirit anchored in the hospital room; she could feel it trying to peeling away from her body, and she wasn’t ready to go just yet. With one last exertion of energy, she lifted her ten pound eyelids and gazed lovingly into Leander’s stormy eyes. It probably lasted only a few seconds, but it was long enough for comfort to flood into both Leander and Maeve. Their fused gaze was a beautiful last goodbye.

Long after death, they were remembered for the special relationship they held. It was their legacy-- a beautiful legacy to have.

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