• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 10
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“Do you like lawn mowers?” A shaky voice reverberated.

The train was still moving. I could feel the vibrations of the wheels beneath us move over the tracks. I filled my lungs with air, as the blur in my vision evaporated. Once I was able to adequately see, I got a good look at him. His wrinkled skin glistened from sweat, and his beard went down to his chest. If I didn’t know any better his flannel shirt and tattered jeans had seen their final days, but I was sure for a man his age, those types of things were too hard to let go of.

“No thank you,” I nodded.

“What was that?” He pushed his mower along as he walked closer to me.

I cleared my throat. “I said no.”

“But you nodded yes.” He smiled. “It’s like your heart said yes, but your mind said no.” He sat down. “So what’s the truth? Do you like lawn mowers or not?”

I tightened my grip on my backpack. “I used to mow the lawn as a chore growing up. So I’m indifferent to them.” A hint of seriousness tinged the back of my vocal chords.

“Relax,” he chuckled. “I see the death grip you have on that backpack there, and I don’t want your baggage.” He leaned in closer. “It seems to me you have a lot.”

A lump in my throat started to form. I silently panicked, trying not to shed a tear. I looked up at a sign with a cartoon woman in a man’s warm embrace with text that read: Where will you go next?



“That’s kind of a funny sign if you ask me.” The man chuckled.

“What do you mean?” I turned to him.

“Statements like that create fear and anxiety!” He sat down. “We know where we’re going, we just get caught up in the day to day. If we all just sat down and shut up we’d know what to do.”

I nodded. “I don’t know if it’s that easy.”

“Take a look at your life, look at how far you got. You would’ve never gotten that far if you didn’t know what you were doing, and sure, you may have made a wrong turn somewhere, but you got there, right?” He stood up.

“What do I do now?” I asked.

“Anywhere.” He walked away.

“Where are you going?” I stood up, dropping my backpack on the floor.

The train abruptly stopped, doors opening. I watched as the man stepped off.

“I’m getting to where I’m going!” He smiled. “Don’t follow me though, you got your own things to do. We’ll meet again though, I’m sure of that!” The doors closed.

I looked down, my backpack leaned on the mower, I looked out the window, seeing Sakura trees basking in the sun. I saw the lover I had lost, and that’s when it hit me.