Love and Rails: The Inkwell Fiction Prompt #14/ Railroads

in The Ink Welllast month

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The inside of my car was perfumed with the sweet smell of the air freshener. But I didn't notice it at that moment as I focused on taking deep breaths, one after the other.

I checked my watch, less than five minutes left. I killed the engine of my car and stepped out. My nerves were on edge as I kept trying to control myself.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I locked my car and with hands deep in my jean pockets, I began to walk through the throngs of people.

It was a typical evening in Lagos State, the road was teeming with pedestrians and vehicles. People bumped into each other in their hurry to get to their destinations.

I took a turn into the railway station. This was also crowded with people and it was just as noisy. There were traders and hawkers scattered about selling their wares. Taxis and motorcycles were parked as they waited for customers.

I was here for only one reason, to welcome the love of my life.

Actually, I had never met her physically before. We had met on Facebook, through a hookup group we had been members of. And from the very first chat, we had hit it off.

Our usual texts had graduated to long voice notes, then voice calls and eventually video calls. In less than five months, I discovered I was deeply in love with her. And when I told her this, she told me she loved me as well. Oh boy, my joy knew no bounds.

There was only one problem; while I lived and worked in Nigeria, she did the same, but in Ghana. Our businesses were successful and we had painstakingly built our clientele. So it was hard for one of us to decide to change location.

This had caused a quarrel between us, and we eventually made up. But still, there was this strain in the relationship.

We needed to see each other physically, to be able to feel each other. To be able to consumate the love we shared. But none of us had been able to make the travel. Something was always coming up.

The relationship went on like that for another year, then she got fed up and told me she was coming to Nigeria for a week to see me. On the condition that I wasn't going to do any kind of work for that week.

A week just for the two of us, to rediscover ourselves. Ensure we were not making a mistake.

After the week was over, we would decide our stand.

I agreed.

After telling my boys at work I would be unavailable for a week, I prepared for her arrival.

And now, it was imminent.

A loud horn blasted through the evening air, followed by the loud rumble of an engine. Signalling the arrival of the train.

People hurried off the rail tracks, clearing the path as the train barreled on towards us.

As I watched it approach, I began to have my doubts. What if she didn't come? Or what if she did come and I didn't recognize her? Despite thousands of video calls. What if she doesn't turn out to be what I expect at all?

A loud screech pierced through the air as the brakes were applied. Sparks flew off the bottom of the train as friction slowed it down.

And at exactly 5:30 PM, it came to a halt directly in front of the shed I was under.

It was then I noticed I was sweating and my hands were shaking with nerves. What if she saw me and was disappointed? What if she said I was too tall or too short for her? Oh my God! Why did I agree to this?

The doors swung open and the passengers alighted, flooding into the station like a swarm of bees.

The moment I saw her, I knew. And in that moment, her eyes turned and locked on mine. The smile of recognition lit up her face like an easter candle. It was then I knew just how deeply I was in love with her.

"Oh Jesus. She's so beautiful." I muttered to myself, staring in awe.

Then I was pushing through the crowd, shoving people out if the way as she too hurried towards me.

We met halfway and she leapt into my arms. I pulled her close, lifting her off her feet as I hugged her closely. I could feel the thumps of her heart against mine, they were beating in tandem. How I loved her.

I pulled back from the hug to see her up close for the first time. I caressed her cheeks and ran my fingers through her silky hair. She was real indeed

Then I kissed her. It was a deep soul searching kiss that was over eighteen months due.

"Welcome to Nigeria baby." I told her, "welcome to my country."

And taking her hand in one of mine, and her box in the other, we strolled out of the railway station towards my parked car. This station would forever hold a place in my heart. The place I met the love of my life for the first time.

This was the beginning of the best week of my life.

Or the beginning of forever.
The End
Thank you for reading.

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Dear @bruno-kema

You grow with each new tale you tell, using the elements of suspense particularly well each time. In this story, I like how you used various elements to keep the reader waiting, the description of the busy Lagos roads, the thought process of your protagonist, and the anxiety of not knowing what to expect, even the sweaty hands was a nice touch. It kept me wanting to just get to the end to satisfy my curiosity as to what eventually plays out.

Good work bro!

P.S. While reading, I was visualizing the Ebute Metta train tracks because of the busyness of that area. lol

Thank you very much @seesladen, i'm glad i was able to make you see the story as i saw it in my head.
I'm glad you like the story, see you real soon.

Old world technology cements a relationship formed in a virtual, information age. What better instrument for this hybrid romance to bloom than a train? This is a great tale woven in response to prompt, Railroad. Endings cannot always be happy, but today we can enjoy this one.

Thank you for posting this story in the Ink Well community. Just a reminder (as we do for all our writers) to reader the stories of other community members. Though, you don't really need that reminder.

Hybrid romance... Hehe😁
When i saw the prompt all i could think of was love and romance. And out came this story.
I'm glad i'm posting in this community. And i will keep on supporting other authors.

Beautiful story of a contemporary love. Good elements of introspection and beautiful description of the different moments. Thanks for sharing it, @bruno-kema

Thank you very much @gracielaacevedo, i'm glad you like the story.

I liked this modern love story @bruno-kema .
It included technology to establish contacts. The story conveys sincerity in virtual meetings, something very important for relationships.
The bride and groom had their doubts before they met, but everything worked out well with a happy ending!!!

I liked this modern love story @bruno-kema .
It included technology to establish contacts. The story conveys sincerity in virtual meetings, something very important for relationships.
They also took some time to get to know each other and later decided to meet in person.
The bride and groom had their doubts before they met, but everything went well with a happy ending

Your analysis is very correct @katleya, what's a love story without a happy ending?
Thank you for reading, i'm glad you like the story.

Wow!
You made me remembered how i met my first love, through social media. She was so beautiful and real❤🙈.

I just can't forget that moment.

Beautiful story bro. Filled with love and realistic romance ❤❤

Wow... I'm happy for you. It's good to know that in a world like ours, it's possible to fall in love with someone thousands of miles away.
I'm glad i was able to remind you of your first love. Thank you for reading.

This story felt very real to me, @bruno-kema. I could imagine this couple, falling deeply in love with one another even though they had never met face to face. In fact I have a relative who had a similar experience! This story is well told, leading us along in anticipation of that moment of meeting. It could just as well have gone badly! So the relief is palpable when their actual first encounter is everything the narrator could have hoped for.

Hello @jayna
As bad as the world can be, it's a good thing that some things can still go according to how we would love them to.
Thank you for reading, i'm glad you like the story.

Your content has been voted as a part of Encouragement program. Keep up the good work!

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Online lovers! Online dating!
Finally meeting each other, how lovely.
At first I thought the character would be disappointed because the girl ended up not coming but i am glad it was an happy ending