Every day after school, we would walk home together. He lived a few minutes from my house, so we went the same way anyway. We’d taken the same route together since we were young, walking down the streets, chatting when the sounds of the train passing didn’t drown out our voices.
Years passed, high school ended, and we went our separate ways. Every summer, though, we would come home to our families and meet up. Every summer we would walk together and chat when the train wasn’t rattling by. On one of these walks, as we paused our conversation for the train, he took my hand and smiled at me. I smiled back.
The train chugged away and we ducked through the line of trees to see it go. Once it was out of view, we gazed at the sun setting where it had gone. Then we approached the tracks slowly, hand in hand, and stepped into them. We chuckled to one another, unsure of what to say or do otherwise.
This was the one rule we were told to live by: never walk on the tracks.
So, with our hands connecting us across the way, we walked along the rails, heading for the sunset. Just as the train had. Connected, moving forward, fading into the distance with the light.
We’ve kept going ever since.
This story was inspired by the assignment that asks for an image of two people in love as well as their story. I took a minute to sort through the various “love” pictures until I discovered one that I thought I could work a story into.
When I found this picture, I thought it was pretty sweet. No kissing, not much more than the contact of two hands. I think that sustained connection can sometimes be even more powerful than a kiss or a hug. You can hold someone else’s hand for hours.
Of course, you really shouldn’t walk on train tracks (what were these two thinking!) but the symbolism that those tracks hold is powerful. They stay there, steadily carrying anything that moves along them for miles almost without stop. A bond where two people can go far along the same tracks is a loving image worthy of capturing and exploring.