It wasn’t hers to take, it was mine. It was mine and it should’ve always been.

The glossy, bright, baby-blue paint sparkled under the sun seeping through the window panes. There wasn’t a speck of dust, but the lower pane was smudged with the chubby short marks of our fingerprints. Rounded edges and embossed spirals decorated the graceful wheels. The long, thin body was something otherworldly, yet it fit snugly in the palm of my hand. Carved out of magnificent cherry oak, it meant something grander than the tree to me. It was my lifeblood, my subsistence symbolized. The happy little smiley sketched over the locomotive face peered back at me each time I looked at it, a reminder that things would be alright. Its curved smoke boxes, bells and bumps along the top felt snug in my hand. Little latches of comfort to grip upon. I walked train-in-hand every day to the small schoolyard. He was my best friend. I’d made little racetracks for him to compete upon and showed him off to my friends. Yet I never could have imagined I would lose him.

Her fist clasped him, his smiling face drooped and upside down, sadness in his eyes. The palm of her hand was hot as she squeezed him. Each second I could feel my heart tightening and twisting, and my face reddening, as if she held my soul instead of my poor traincar. I pulled and pried at her long fingers but it was of no use. I stared at her, tears welling up and desperation consumed me. I was viewing things in third person, my wails and sobs far away, yet close. Hot tears rolled down my cheek. Hot tears filled with despair and regret, tears of sadness and sorrow, tears of hardship and failure. The tears seared burn marks into my skin, my eyes red and scalding from the boiling tears. I watched through my pink puffed lens as my hapless toy departed in her hand, each step distancing us felt like the tightening of a noose. As hot tears dripped down my plump face, they landed upon my legs, acidifying bullet wounds that led to the bone. I hadn’t realized I was on my knees, but I was. The hot tears continued flowing like a riverstream, but the girl was gone. It was gone, yet the hot tears were not.

Photo: Ahmed Polat on