Melbourne Train Girl had called the Tall Boy yesterday.
There had been no answer.
She couldn't concentrate on anything all day, and she still can't concentrate on anything today.
She even forgot to hold her breath as the train passed the cemetary.
She did take notice, however, when the train stopped completely and all the lights went out. Passengers on her carriage looked around, over their shoulders, and out the windows. Faces that would normally remain blank made eye contact, and a collective tension rose up from the floor to hover dense and silent in the air. Then, as suddenly as it had come, it was gone, sighed away, as the train engine rumbled to life and order was restored to the world.
Melbourne Train Girl looked down at her red coat and saw that she had covered the front of it with biscuit crumbs. She brushed herself down but to no real effect. The girl sitting opposite her screwed up her nose and furrowed her overely pencilled eyebrows. Melbourne Train Girl smiled apologetically, although why, she wasn't quite sure.
Last night Melbourne Train Girl's friends had gone to the pub, but Melbourne Train Girl had stayed home intending to do homework. She had written three sentences. Her friend's work friend, the Short Boy would have been there. Perhaps she should have gone.
The Short Boy had come to see her unexpectedly at The Bar two Wednesdays ago. he was very sweet, and very intelligent. As they had chatted, Melbourne Train Girl had listened to his accent. Here and there she picked up little hints of South Africa. She had asked, and he had told her he was born there.
She hadn't known that; she liked that he was surprising her. Perhaps she should have gone last night...
Instead she had sat on her couch and watched an episode of Wallace and Gromit. It wasn't until she was half way through that she remembered she had watched the Wallace and Gromit movie with the Tall Boy those weeks ago when she had stayed at his house. They had sat, in separate chairs, his hand on her leg, her hand on his, tracing the outline of his knuckles. That was nice.
Today Melbourne Train Girl was on her way to the State Library. She hoped that she would get more work done out of her house. Melbourne was grey. So grey that the tops of the tallest buildings disappeared into the viscous covering of fog. They looked never ending. Melbourne Train Girl wondered what you would see if you were on the top storey looking out of the window.
Sitting in the Reading Room at the library, Melbourne Train Girl fidgeted and wasted time. She switched off her phone, but a minute later turned it back on again. She sat, her papers spread in front of her, watching the girl at the next study booth highlight notes about vaccination.
Melbourne Train Girl knows she won't be able to start up as easily as the train did. She knows she will get nothing done for the rest of the afternoon.
She packed up her books and walked outside to meet a new friend for coffee. Standing on the corner of Swanston and Latrobe streets, a Canadian boy she had met at a bar last Friday walked past. He didn't see her. They had chatted for half an hour or so that night, until Melbourne Train Girl wanted to dance with her sister to the gypsy jazz that was playing. She had invited him, but he declined. He didn't look like much of a dancer.
He had told Melbourne Train Girl he was a primary school teacher. She believed him. When she told him what she did, he told her he thought she would have been a writer. Melbourne Train Girl is not a writer. She wonders if she looks like one. Melbourne Train Girl can't even remember his name.
Melbourne Train Girl wrote four more setences today.
That makes a total of seven.
Melbourne Train Girl needs her concentration back.