Consumed

She stared out the window of the old stuffy tin train, wondering how her story will end. She can see the first carriage swaying with speed as it heads around the bend. The sky is a miserable grey and the usual evergreen, luscious trees seem dull and sad. Their gentle dance today looks more like an urgent escape from the howling wind. The river is a murky brown, gloomy and uninviting. Even the regular fisherman didn't want to bother with it today. She thinks about the present now and wonders what the point is. What's the point in going home when in just a few hours, she'll be on the same old tin train, staring at the same scenery, having the same thought? What's the point in going to work in the first place…Yes, money's nice. It pays for her big house and the super-safe car and all the things that she has to fill them. Things that she's grateful for, but doesn't care about.

She continues to wonder…What's the point in having the perfect family with a husband that loves her beyond comprehension and whom she loves the same? A daughter who is radiant, lovely and more beautiful than heaven and Earth and everything in between. What's the point, when you can't enjoy them as much as you want?

Panic rushes through her body, tightening her chest. Finding it harder to breathe, she realises it's her inner voice telling her life is short and not always beautiful like you once thought.

She wonders if magic is real and if so, how quickly might she be able to learn. Learn to stop time or to stop the lines getting deeper on her mother's face or to stop her father's receding hairline. Learn to go back in time where she was her brother's hero or learn how to prevent her baby girl from growing up too quickly or stop her husband from getting bored with her. Learn to stop these tears.

The train announcer interrupts her thoughts. Her stop approaches. She wipes her tears on her sleeves while rummaging through her bag, finally feeling the cold and smooth surface of her key-ring. She yanks it out, gathering her things, she runs down the stairs and through the closing door.

The walk to the car is always lonely and long. The rain has slowed now, but it's still enough to ruin her freshly straightened hair. She gets in the car, takes off her shoes and adjusts the seat and mirror, always forgetting how short she really is. She battles with the disorganised pedestrians and the chaotic traffic. As she pulls into the driveway, she sees her two favourite people sitting on the steps waiting for her to come home.

An uncontrollable smile starts to take shape on her face. She turns off the engine and gets out of the car, still barefoot. Her daughter, who's more confident on her feet now, shrieks with joy and runs towards her. She does the same and picks her up. Snuggles into her chest for a cuddle. When she finally comes up for air, her daughter looks over her shoulder, pointing with a smile. She turns around to see what has caused this glee. Then she sees it, the biggest, brightest, fullest rainbow she has ever seen. A happy tear rolls down her cheek. Her husband is next to her now. He plants a loving kiss on her forehead and whispers you can't have a rainbow without a little rain.