'Trains' by Joanne Mallon
He loved the train; the motion, the rhythm, the sound, the view. All of it. He loved everything about trains. He wrote down their numbers in his little book, knew the lines they travelled on, and the routes they took. He knew all about the crossings, and gates, and signal boxes. If there were things about trains that he didn’t know, well…it just wasn’t worth knowing. That’s what his Mum said.
He was going to be a train driver one day, he knew that too. He’d sit in the cab and power the carriages up and down the tracks, and he’d be happier than he’d ever been before. He’d watch the lights change, watch the daffodils stream by in the spring, watch the newspapers blow about on the station in the winter, and there’d be no leaves on his track, that’s for sure.
That was the funny thing about dreams; they were always perfect. The grass was so green, the sky so blue; perfect. He’d had a lot of time to work on his dreams, he’d had a lot of time to study trains too. He got to go on the train everyday. Like today, he watched the playing fields run past the window, and knew the exact moment when the country was gone and the city had come. He preferred going the other way, leaving the city behind. They were all so lovely to him and he felt mean for wishing the train was going the other way. But he was fed up of being tired, and fed up of feeling sick, fed up of not going to school. And in truth, he was even a little bit fed up with going on the train everyday. But he leaned back in his seat and grinned his biggest grin at his Mum, as she sat facing him. He always tried to smile extra big for her, because she’d know if he was sad, and that made her sad. And he really hated that. He hated for her to be sad.