The Christmas Train Ride

Every Christmas Eve, Brian Stones goes to the train depot in Winterville to catch the Christmas Train at noon.  He looked forward to this day every year ever since his grandfather brought him to the station, and he looked forward to this day.

This Christmas Eve was different.

Snow was falling with an inch on the ground.  He arrived at the train depot to wait for the train, and he noticed a young lady, appeared to be a teenager, sitting on the bench that he normally sat on.  As he came closer to he, he noticed her shabby coat.  Her wool hat was dirty as were her jeans with a few rips.  She had blankets wrapped around her feet.  He arrived at the bench and noticed she was crying with her tears flowing down her dirty face.  Her long blonde hair appeared to not have been combed.

“Hello,” he said.

She continued to cry.

“Are you O.K.?”  He was very concerned.

She peeked at him.

“You do not have to be afraid.”  He assured her.  “I am Brian.”

“Vicky.”  She puffed out.  “I’m Vicky.”

“Happy to meet you Vicky,” he said.

She continued to cry.

“What’s wrong?”  He was more concerned.

She turned to him.  “My parents threw me out of the house and said that they never want to see me again.  I have no friends because they never let me out of the house.”

“I’ll be your friend.”  He assured her.

She sunk her head.

“Look!  The Christmas Train will be here soon.  Do you want a ride?  I can get you a ticket.”

“I have never ridden a train before.” She wept.  “But they will not let me on like this.”

“Don’t worry.”  He assured her.  “You will be welcomed aboard.  Here it comes now.”

The train was approaching with its brass locomotive and silver passenger cars.  It pulled up to the station.  The conductor stepped off.  “Welcome back, Brian.  It looks like you have a friend this year.”

Vicky looked away.  The conductor reached out his hand.  “Come aboard.  We have something special for you.”

She turned to walk away but stopped.  She turned back and climbed aboard the train.

“Her name is Vicky,”  Brian said.  “This is her first train ride.  She was rejected by her parents and has no friends.”

Brian boarded the train, and the conductor came up behind him.  The train began to pull away from the station.  The conductor grabbed Vicky’s hand.  “Come.  We have something special for you.”

She pulled her hand away.

“Go.  You will love it.”  Brian assured her.

She went with the conductor to a woman dressed in green.  “This is Mindy.  She has something special for you.”

Mindy pointed to a closet.  “Step in.”

Vicky was confused.

“Don’t worry.  It will be fine.”  Brian assured her.

Vicky paused, but then she stepped into the closet.  Mindy closed the door.

“What is happening.”  Vicky was afraid.  “What is…”

Mindy opened the door.  Vicky stepped out.  Brian smiled.  She could not believe her eyes.  Her hair was nice and neat.  Her wool hat and coat was clean.  Her jeans were dark blue with no rips.  She felt something.  She looked down and saw her bare feet touch the carpet.  “I have never felt carpet with my feet before.”  She had tears roll down her face.

“Now you can enjoy the ride,” Mindy said.

The conductor took them to their seat.  Brian was amazed as Vicky looked out the window seeing the winter scenery.  She had a bright smile on her face.

Night came, and the trees had lights on them.  Vicky was overwhelmed with excitement.

“And you do not want to get on the train,” Brian said.

Vicky hugged him.  “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

They rode into the morning.  Brian and Mindy were sitting in the seat.  Mindy approached carrying a bag.  “We will be arriving at the station soon.  It is cold outside, and I have something very important for you.”

Vicky wondered about what was going to happen next.

“Give me your foot.”  Mindy commanded her.

Vicky reached out her foot.  Mindy reached into the bag and pulled out a sock.  She bent over and put the sock on Vicky’s foot.  Tears rolled down her face.  “I had never worn good socks before.”

She took out a boot.  “Now let me put this on you.”

Mindy put the boot on her foot and laced it up.  “Now I will need you other foot.”

Mindy put the sock and boot on her other foot.  The train arrived at the station.

“Right on time,” the conductor said.

“Glad to be on the train again, and glad to have a new friend to ride with.”

Brain and Vicky climbed off the train.

“I hope to see you next year.”  The conductor waved.

“Merry Christmas.”  Brian smiled.

The train began to pull away, and they watched as it went out of sight.

“Thank you very much.  It was so much fun, but I have no place to go.”  Vicky was very worried.

“I have a room at my house.”  Brian assured her.  “Come home with me.”

They walked away from the train station together.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

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