Trekking along this forgotten train track, I gradually realised that it all came down to a goodbye. It was ironic, really, because none of us ever thought that we would lose everything we’d ever had together.
In the distance, three smoke-stacks silently release their thick, mahogany clouds onto the horizon: an industrial beauty, giant candles that once marked the unreachable borders of our childhood.
Alongside the track, dead factories stand coupled together like abandoned townhouses. Inside, beneath the rattle of our fleeting feet and distant laughter, rays of dust bob aimlessly in the broken, cobwebbed-window light. They cover the cold, black floor, obscuring the footprints and faded chalk obscenities that had once been at the heart of our childish amusements.
It’s strange, the things that stay with you, the things you try so hard to remember. And how many times had we bounded over their roller-coaster rooftops, rising and falling, convinced that nothing could ever harm us?
I step under a trestle and close my eyes. The soft aroma of old paint floats towards me like a feather in the tender breeze.
My fingertips drift along the rough cement wall, preciously farewelling the museum of graffiti we had left behind. Perhaps another dispirited passenger, ambling after me because of some great, inevitable loss, will wonder what legends passed through here and left their unremembered marks upon the world.
When I think about it, it feels like only yesterday when we were all laughing together; everyday was a new day, life was forever and happiness was never more than an arm’s reach away. Tomorrow I would be seeing them all again … and nothing would ever change.