Trains of Thought Oft Go Awry






The Three Sixteen

By Thomas

I stood at the edge of the frigid, deserted train platform. It was 3:14 am and the 3:16 nonstop was almost here. Death from the left at 70 mph, then peace. A leap into oblivion. Just one second and it’s all over. I can do this, I don’t want to live anymore. She’s gone. It’s too much.

“Excuse me, mister, you got a light?” The homeless guy tugged my right arm and held up the stub of a smoke.

God, the guy stunk. I pulled back a little. “I don’t smoke. Sorry.”

He coughed, the sound in his chest was rheumy. “That’s okay. Then don’t start. It’ll kill ya.” He shuffled away and I resumed my wait. It was 3:14 and I was even more determined than ever. Just a leap.

“Excuse me, mister, can you spare a little change? I’m John. We haven’t eaten for two days.” The same guy again, and I thought, dude, just go away. Then I thought of my wallet. I wouldn’t need it anymore. I nodded. “Sure. Hang on, John, let me get my wallet.”

His eyes widened. “Thanks, mister. Me and Alicia are mighty hungry.”

Alicia? I thought homeless guys traveled solo. I reached under my overcoat, and felt winter reach up my leg. Say, I might as well give it to him, I wasn’t going to need it anymore. My watch too.

I handed him both items. “Here you go, take it all.” His eyes lit up like Christmas morning. “Alicia is my fiancée. Was my fiancée. She was hit by a car yesterday and died tonight. My life is over.” I turned to my left again, watched the tunnel. It had to be 3:15 by now.

“Alicia is my little girl, sir. She’s right over there.” I looked right and saw what at first appeared to be a pile of junk. Then I saw a leg. It moved.

“Your daughter? It’s freezing up here. You need to get her inside, to bed.”

He shook his head. “We’re homeless.” He turned away.

Thirty seconds to oblivion.

I felt another tug at my arm. Annoyed, I said ‘what’.

“Mister, it’s not worth it. Life is precious, even through the pain. You can make it. I know a guy you need to know. His name is Jesus, and he can take your pain away.”

I sighed. My Alicia used to go to church and believed that God stuff.  “Okay, guy, I’ll listen. You have 30 seconds.”

For a bum John sure was eloquent. I listened for what seemed an hour. I stepped back from the edge, broke down, cried and said yes to Jesus. Suddenly my pain was gone and I felt peace. I was forgiven. Life was worth living again. I got a second chance. Not many get one.

The 3:16 roared through the station.  I turned to thank him and found the platform deserted. I looked down and saw my watch laying on my wallet.

In the shape of a cross.

6 thoughts on “Trains of Thought Oft Go Awry

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    John 3:14-16 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – NIV

    I found this story to be a faith based answer of sent angels to tell of the author’s faith and love for the least of us in a well written, unfolding of redemption from despair and hopelessness. I offer such beauty my praise.

  2. Barb Keeling says:

    This was a ‘makeup streaker for me, as tears of warmth and understanding touched my soul and bubbled from my eyes. What a great story. May the 3:16’s in all of our lives pass us by.

  3. Michael Stang says:

    Classic tale told in an almost classic way. I read this more than once to understand if you wanted Santa Clause behind the scenes; okay angels, or something that gives mortals a space between life and death. And then how can a flash like this end perfectly? Of course with the shape of the cross.
    I am impressed.

  4. Diane Cresswell says:

    Story is very much in alignment with how the Universe can work and does work. If its not your time – It steps in to help you change a decision. Good flow of thoughts and words.

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