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How am I alive?

By A.MoriahPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
Photo by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash

“I’m not quite sure how I survived…” I began to recount my tale for what felt like the thousandth time. After so many re-tellings, you don’t really think about the words before speaking. It just sort of comes out - like a plane on autopilot, or one of those self-driving cars, or the train I just survived.

Survived, I survived! I’m alive though an hour ago I was certain I wouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be, alive that is. I’m pretty sure the people here would agree, otherwise I wouldn’t have had to explain what happened so many times.

Admittedly, I haven’t told them everything. I haven’t told them that I have no idea how I got on the train - I woke up in the baggage compartment. Nor that I had no ticket on me… I don’t think I was supposed to be on that train, someone put me there. I think… I think someone meant for me to die, or to look guilty, or both. But why? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just put a bullet in me? Why sacrifice everyone else on board? Or was it genuinely an accident? These questions have been pouring through my mind since the officer pulled me out of the river, half-drowned and exhausted.

I had taken a chance, you see. I can’t really swim and the fall itself should have killed me. But we were getting close to the mountains and it was obvious the train wasn’t going to stop. Hell, it wasn’t even slowing down! A full-sized passenger train, barreling towards the mountain pass at break-neck speed. It would have been a miracle if it hadn’t derailed. So, I took a chance. I jumped.

When we sped over the river crossing, I jumped. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it, but I had to try. All I could think about was him - my fiancé, the man I’m supposed to marry in a couple months, the love of my life. All I could think of was somehow making it home, to him.

I don’t really know how far I fell, between the train and the river. It felt like it went on for forever, though it was probably just a couple seconds. The water was cold, and it hurt. The moment my body connected with the water, it felt as though I’d run full on into a wall of some sort. I’m certain the impact broke a few of my ribs - I can feel it every time I breathe - and my arm. When I hit the water, the air fled from my lungs as if some spawn of hell was at its heels. The first breath I took was half water, half air. My lungs are still raw from the effort of coughing it up.

I’ve never been very good at swimming, or even just treading water for that matter. But, then again, my life has never depended on it until now. I always seem to overthink things, but not this time. As it is, if they hadn’t found me when they did, I doubt I would have lasted much longer. The water was so cold. It was a cold that seemed to pierce through every fiber of my being. Part of me wanted to let go, to simply surrender to the river and its current, to let it carry me away to some cold, endless sleep. But I couldn’t let go, I couldn’t give in. The same motivation that made me jump, it made me keep kicking.

So, here I am, telling my story yet again. I have more questions than answers. All I know is that I want to go home.


About the Creator


At heart, I am a nature loving, historically enthusiastic, artist and writer.

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