Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Drop-out By Gattara

Serena huddled into her scarf - the scarf that still smelled like her mother after having been away from her for over a month. The crisp October air chilled her not unpleasantly, but a little too much to be comfortable. She had attempted to close the window above her head but it was stiff and too cold for her bare hands. Serena had flopped down on her seat again, defeated. That was the overall emotion on this train journey: being defeated. Serena had just dropped out of university and was wondering what to do with her life next.

Her phone vibrated in her pocket violently, making her jump. She sighed. "Are you okay?" "What are you going to do now?" bombarded the tiny device in her hand, merely making her want to crawl up into a little hole. She closed it back up, turned it on silent and sat back with a sigh.

She picked up the coffee from off the little train table in front of her, her hands warming slightly from the heat emanating from the paper cup and took a sip. What WAS she going to do now? A big change was happening and she didn't know how to feel about it. One the one hand, she could do whatever she so pleased. But, on the other, her future was now uncertain. All she did know was that she couldn't wait to get home and have a bath.

The train suddenly screeched to an abrupt halt, spilling most of the coffee onto her lap. "Damn! Damn, damn, damn!" she muttered to herself, attempting to mop up the spill with her scarf. It was no use: this was her stop - there was no time - she had to get off.

She pushed past the people loitering at the doors to the train and burst onto the platform. The bitter autumn wind washed over her like a blanket and she shivered violently, her teeth beginning to chatter. One scarf wasn't going to cut it.

Speaking of the latter, it was now completely soaked. She scooted out of the way of the commuters, threw the dregs of her coffee into a nearby bin and unwound the now sodden scarf from her neck.

A sudden gust of wind, however, had other plans, picking it up from her hands and away, out of her reach. "This is so not my day", she grumbled, jogging to catch up to the offending item of clothing. It was now in a gutter. "Christ." She bent down to pick it up, a gleam of light catching her eye as she did so. It blinded her momentarily. A glorious scent of pastries and acoustic music gently enticed her to it's source: a little shabby jazz café. Most of its windows were boarded up with miscellaneous bits of wood and cardboard, but there was something about the blackened brick and miss-matched flower pots that adorned what was left of the windows made her wander inside.


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