By Santino Prinzi
Platform four for the three-thirty-four First Great Western Service to Bristol Temple Meads, calling at Chippenham, Bath Spa, and Bristol Temple Meads, is delayed by approximately six minutes. First Great Western apologises for the delay to your journey today.
There is a man on the platform opposite. I’ve known him before. Our eyes meet. He looks down at his book, then up, and our eyes lock again. Reminded of what once was between us, he fakes a cough, and returns to his book, but his eyes aren’t reading. This has been happening every minute since he’s spotted me sitting here, clutching a coffee, and a holdall full of books, dirty clothes, dreams, and an old toothbrush. One of the books may have been recommended by him, and I wonder if he’s pretending to read a book I suggested he’d like.
Can I have your attention, please? This is a platform alteration. Platform three for the three-thirty-seven First Great Western Service to London Paddington, calling at Didcot Parkway, Reading, and London Paddington, will now depart from platform two. First Great Western apologises for the inconvenience and the delay to your journey today.
He stands. The book wraps around his hand. His forefinger marks his place; it marks the present. It divides our past from our future. Our eyes meet once more. He leaves me, again. Everything that used to be and everything that I imagine could’ve been is spread across the tracks. The three-thirty-four slices through it all. We’re alive and divided, fantasising that everything is alright between us, but we’re both ghosts to each other now.
Santino Prinzi is currently an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University and helps with National Flash Fiction Day (UK). In 2016 he was awarded the TSS Young Writers Award and has been awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize.