2. Dream, a Little Dream
Charlie Pipē is standing at the old station, watching around in silence. The clock tower is dead. The old station is pretty empty. And it is still early in the morning. Then, she looked over her ticket train over and over again. The destination is supposed to be at Elska Town. But now, it seems like this is not a place that she wants to go. Maybe, she should start walking, and asked for help.
“Sir, excuse me sir,” Charlie slowly approached the old man that holding a staff. “I was accidentally arrived at here. My brother will get married on the next-two day. How can I get a new ticket to Elska Town?”
“Elska? Never heard them. But how did you get here?” said the old man, confused.
“I don’t know. Maybe this is my mistake,” she replied. And she worried.
“If you say so, you should make your shelter. It might take a while for us, this old station, to get you a ticket to Elska. There’s a motel not very far from here. My wife works there and she won’t charge you,” said the old man and smiled.
It is already 8 o’clock in the morning. Charlie entered the room that she already check-in. What the old man said to her earlier was right; it might take a while for them to get her a ticket to Elska. Just look at the station, it is too old to keep operating. And the motel? Too old to serve customer. This town is really isolated from the modern things at the city; an old vintage style with some kind of oldies essence. She did not know what is really happen at here but there is one thing inside her mind- where is she right now?
Suddenly, someone knocked the door. And Charlie opened it and met a sweet-plump woman in her 50’s who knows her name.
“Yes…may I know you?” Charlie asked.
“I’m the old man’s wife that you met at the station. He told me about you. It’s rare for the outsider to come over here but you did. Need anything?” said the old man’s wife, very friendly.
“Not this time,” Charlie replied. “But, can you tell me this place?”
“We called it as our Little Cwic. So, welcome to the Little Cwic. The place that you will remember the rest of your life,” said the old man’s wife and smiled.
The first day for Charlie Pipē at the new small town known as the Little Cwic began with the conversation with the old man’s wife. And the old man’s wife brought her to meet everyone around the small town. Everyone is very nice and kind-hearted. And everything is truly evergreen; woody wheelbarrow, neighing horses, and old-stitch blouses. Charlie Pipē is really amazed, this is the first old style town that she ever seen in her whole life.
“So, dear…what do you think about our Little Cwic?” said the old man’s wife while they get some rest under the apple tree.
“This place is really…far,” she replied. She still could not believe her eyes.
“That’s why we called it as ‘little’. Everything is ‘little’ over here- ‘little’ people, little facilities, little places, little houses, little equipments but we have a big heart for everyone. And maybe, this might be the first and the last day for you to meet us.”
“Why not? I could ride a train once again to come here,” said Charlie Pipē and chuckled.
Then, the old man’s wife brought her into a public kitchen that serves everyone in every Sunday. And she learned the way to cook an old-style potato chicken stew which it tastes much better than anything that she ever tastes. Later, the old man’s wife teaches her how to dance, dressed her like a doll, playing with children at the old chapel’s playground, and finally, she enjoyed her evening under the apple tree with the old man’s wife by watching the beautiful sunset at the sky.
“Today is wonderful. I never felt this,” said Charlie with a big smile over her face.
“We couldn’t give you the best gift but we can give you the best memories,” the old man’s wife replied.
“This town is beautiful. I’ll never forget it. Everyone is so nice, and you are so kind.”
“I’m happy to hear that.”
Then, the old man appeared with a piece of paper inside his hand. There must be something happened at the old station. Did he manage to get the ticket to Elska Town?
“What happened?” asked the old man’s wife.
“Nothing. I’ve got her ticket just in time. It’s getting late. She should get her ride before night,” the old man replied.
And finally, Charlie Pipē leaves the little town before night. The sound of the old-rusty train becomes her final-little goodbye for the old and nice couple, the old town with nice people, and the old things that made her day.
* * *
The sun sweeps the ground. The next new day has begun. Charlie Pipē awakes from her sleep and heard the announcement of arrival and it means that, Elska is on her way. Now, the real excitement is getting bigger.
Then, her mother who arrived one week earlier took her from the station and brought her to her uncle’s home. And everyone talks about her brother’s marriage on the next day. Charlie Pipē feels relieved; she managed to arrive at here just in time. Thanks to the old man who worked hard to get her a new ticket. And suddenly she remembered one thing about them.
“Oh, snap!” Charlie Pipē shrieked.
“What happened?” asked Ethel Norman, her brother who will get married on the next day.
“I forgot to ask their name!”
“Who?” Ethel Norman confused.
“The old man and his wife. Before I came here, I was accidentally arrived at the small town, Little Cwic. His wife is very kind-hearted. She made my day with new things I never learned before. And the old man helps me by getting a new ticket to Elska,” said Charlie but Ethel seems more confused than before.
“I don’t know what you say. Never heard of them. And, your train is one way-ticket. There are no pit stops for your train to stop, or accidentally stop. Besides, it takes two days from our place to come here. That’s normal. And you know that too.”
However, Ethel just laughed and he thought that Charlie just make a new joke. Ethel convinced her that it might be her dream while she slept in the train, and she just confused between reality and a dream. Then, Charlie told her story to everyone but no one believes her. And no one heard about the Little Cwic. No one knows about it. Maybe this time, Ethel was right. It is just a little dream, although it feels so real- a taste of potato chicken stew, the happy sound of children at the old chapel, and the smell of the dress that she wore.
Then suddenly, she felt something inside her pocket- a piece of paper. And she took it out and read it. She read it over and over again. Soon after, she walked by and put a piece of paper inside her brother’s hand. Then, Ethel read it and they looked to each other. It says;
Little Cwic Station
Departure : Platform 1
Destination : Cwic to New Town
Date and Time : 5th April 1881, 6:30 p.m.
Caretaker in service : Mr. Anold Man
(To be continued...)
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