When Gene woke up, the scenery had changed. His back was stiff from the upright position of the Amtrak seat. He stretched and looked around. Most of the other passengers were also resting. The train had left the coast and was moving inland, toward Portland, then Seattle. He stared out the window. What lay ahead for him? She had left so abruptly, with so little explanation. How long would it take this pain to dissipate?

Suddenly a small dark haired boy’s head appeared above the seat in front of him. Two blue eyes stared at Gene and then ducked away. A young woman’s voice said. “Joey, you need to stay sitting.”

“I have to go peepee.”

A slender young woman stood up. “You just want to walk,” she said, laughing and smiling over the seat at Gene. She pushed back her long dark hair. She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.

“And go peepee.”

Gene’s eyes followed them appreciatively as they went down the aisle toward the toilets.

Copyright 2013 Loretta Miles Tollefson


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