Every week, I would take the train from the small town of Oakland and ride into Cumberland. It was always the same routine. I come to the station. I wait for the train. The train comes. I board the train. I ride it to Cumberland. It was the same thing every week.
This week was completely different.
I arrived at the train station at my normal time. I saw a very beautiful golden blonde haired lady standing wearing a black sweatshirt and dark blue jeans with the bottoms rolled up partially up her legs. She was barefoot holding her flip flops in her hand. I stepped over to her, and she glanced at me.
“Hello,” she said. “Do you come here often?”
“I come here once a week,” I told her as I walked up to her. “I am heading to Cumberland.”
“So am I,” she smiled.
“Great,” I said to her. “It’s nice to have someone to ride with.”
“Interesting,” she smiled. “I was hoping to ride with someone. Maybe I can ride with you.”
“Gladly,” I replied not knowing what to think, but she looked like a very friendly lady. “Here comes the train.”
The train pulled up. We boarded. I sat in my usual seat. She sat next to me. She put her bare feet on the seat across from us.
“You must love trains,” she winked at me.
“Oh I do,” I said looking out the window as the train departed from the station.
“I like trains too,” she said. “I use to ride the train across the country when I was a little girl. I did not do much riding when my parents died.”
“Well I am glad to have you ride with me today,” I said to her.
She moved over and kissed me on the cheek.
“Thank you,” she smiled. “I am glad to be riding with you.”
We rode together to Cumberland. We got off the train. As we were walking along the platform, she asked, “What time will you be returning?”
“4:00pm,” I told her.
“I will see you then.”
As she turned to walk away I asked her,”What is your name?”
“Glad to be riding with you, Danielle.”
“See you at 4.”
As she walked away, I remember that line from Casablanca, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”