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She is Me

A disconcerting visit from the past.

By KBPublished 8 months ago 4 min read
She is Me
Photo by Irene Giunta on Unsplash

A jolt of energy bursts through my lungs.

Gasping for air, I try to check into my surroundings.

I’m right where I was when I dozed off. No big deal. My briefcase is to the side of me. My dark purple jumpsuit is still gripping my body in the heat. My hair is still tightly slicked back into a clean bun.

However, I notice the man who sat across from me is no longer slurping his outrageously large iced coffee. He must’ve gotten off in Harlem.

My eyes scan from booth to booth. The rest of the train car has vanished.

It’s just me.

I start to think, there's no way I could’ve slept this long. Even if I did, the train wouldn’t be moving. It would be sitting still in the depths of Grand Central Terminal. The muggy air would engulf me.

I don’t realize how quickly the train is moving until I try to hop to my feet.

Immediately, the train accelerates, shoving my butt back into the cushion. It is moving too fast for me to make out where we are heading; everything out the window is blurry.

Reaching into my pocket to try and check my location on my phone, my hand slips down to the bottom. There’s nothing there.

So seemingly, I understand all at once that my whole life is missing; including proof that I was ever on this train in the first place.

At least I still have my briefcase.

I go in to make sure my papers are in order, my cases are intact, and upon opening it, I realize that they’re all gone too. How could everything just disappear?

Instead, there is a locked box in its place.

The only way to open it is a 4 digit combination.

My hands seem to have a mind of their own and start sliding the numbers on the lock.


There’s a tiny click. I’ve somehow unlocked it. But how was I to know the numbers?

In the now unlocked box, I find a key.

It has a thin brown leather strap through it. I sling it around my wrist.

Sure that this can get me out of this mess, I accelerate forward, ready for the train to jumble me, and move towards the front of the train, towards the only door that seems to have a keyhole.

When I make it to the door, the train speeds up again, pushing me farther away. It’s like someone is watching me. No, I know someone is watching me. I just feel it.

And yet, I re-gather myself and keep stepping forward.

When I make it to the door the second time, I feel the key mold to the shape of the lock. This is going to work. This is going to get me out.

The handle turns and I’m immediately met with a familiar aroma when the wind bursts through. It smells like my childhood home.

This car is nearly empty too, except for a little girl.

But this isn’t just any little girl.

It’s me. When I was six.

She has a familiar look on her face, almost like the one I saw in the mirror this morning. One that could be saying, help yourself.

And then as if she is a figment of my imagination, that’s what she says, “Help yourself.”

But soon after the words leave her tiny lungs, she starts running.

She’s running towards the front of the car. I try and chase her but the bumpy train knocks me off balance. She is getting too far away.

Just as she is almost out of reach, almost at the last car, my adrenaline kicks in.

I don’t even realize that I am uttering a jumble of words like, “Don’t worry,” and “I will help you.”

Suddenly, she stops in her tracks, turns around, and says, “Okay. Help me then.”

Unsure of what to do next, I notice her eyeing the key around my wrist.

“This?” I say holding it up, “What should I do with it?”

Without a word, she reaches out her hand for me to drop the key into it.

Moving it up to her neck, the key, which I now notice is five times smaller, unlocks the locket around a tiny chain.

Right as it clicks into place, I see a flash of light and I can’t breathe. It seems as if all the air was sucked out of the room.

Out of the room and into the little girl. The girl that so badly needed someone to be there for her, for someone to help her. My air became hers.

After what feels like an eternity, my lungs are reawakened. But when I open my eyes, I am no longer facing my past self.

In fact, I’m sitting where I was moments ago before this all began.

The man across the way is loudly sipping his iced coffee, the lockbox in my briefcase has been replaced by my papers, and my phone is right where it was, in my pocket.

At first, I think, I must’ve fallen asleep. That this was simply my unconscious imagination.

But somehow, I know it wasn’t a dream.

Sci Fi

About the Creator


A snippet of life. Some real, some not. Thanks for reading!

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (1)

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  • C M Prosso8 months ago

    I was really intrigued by this! I want to know more about the child: why does she need help? Why does she say "help yourself?" The writing was evocative - I could picture the story so clearly.

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