On the edge of a dream

I need to board a train. The train takes me home. I take a tram to get to the train station. In the tram we are given dance classes. My teacher is wearing a mask and a black costume. He doesn’t show me his face until I get off the tram to cross the road to get to the train station. He’s my classmate from primary school. I haven’t thought about him in decades. He’s the first boy that I had found cute. All I could do is wave him goodbye. The train station seems near but too far. The city feels restless. The police are around. I am running out of time. The sky is darkening.

I meet people on the way to the station who seem interesting and I end up talking to them for a long time. They tell me that there are fun challenges going on in the train station. There are people from around the world showing off their talents. The train station, they tell me, is massive and complex.

It’s night now and I start climbing a staircase by the street, which seems to lead to the train tracks. Many people are walking down. I quickly realise that it is for the local trains and I need the international lines. The people around me look like me, but darker. I see directions written in English and Indian languages I can read. But the air is too clean and so are the streets. The walls are white and have been kept so. I quickly run down the stairs back onto the streets.

It is morning now. I am in the main station building. It looks like a palace. There are sentries everywhere. I am not allowed to be here and I am not allowed to walk on the freshly cut grass. I don’t see people anymore. Just me and the guards and the massive white palatial train station with bright blue skies above it.

I make up my mind to get to the train. I see a display screen for Arrivals and it says my train is 8 minutes late and is coming on Platform 1. I ask a guard for the quickest way to get to Platform 1. He tells me I am still at the back of the building and that I would need to exit and walk through the gardens and around the building.

I find myself being distracted by all the lovely things I am seeing inside the main station building, on the way out. The people were right. There is an odd boat-shaped salad presentation about 8 meters long in one room. I see white men who look like Hercules wrestling each other in one corner of the garden. I hear beautiful singing. I exit the building and enter the gardens. I skip by the sides, trying to avoid being captured and then I see smoke rising behind the palace. I know that it’s my train and I need to get to it. I start running across the gardens. I realise that none of the sentries actually cared about me and I should’ve run from the very beginning. As I run I see other people emerging, materialising out of nothing, running along with me to the train. I need to take that train. It’ll give me all the answers I seek. I reach the building and I keep opening doors hoping they will get me to Platform 1. I am panicking. The train must have reached the platform. It must be boarding now. I am going to miss it. I don’t hear a whistle though. There is still hope. I must keep opening doors.

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