Karina

Falkenstein

                             

                               

                               The trains

 

 

Two steps more! No more strength to run … Grandpa! – I harshly pushed the door, which swung and sweepingly burst open. – My bicycle! They have broken it! – My cry flied in the dusty attic. Sharp teardrops of hurt were running down from my eyes and I couldn’t stop them. I have inhaled familiar smell of old books, rust and wood. 

Grandpa was sitting by the table full of different tools fingering frayed wires in an old radio. – Come in, – he said quietly, continuing looking on the wires.

 

– It cannot be fixed! The frame is bent! All is lost! – I was choking of cry. 

– Antiseptic is in the bedside. – Grandpa interrupted me, still not lifting his head.

I darted towards the bedside and at once stumbled over a box. How so many things can find a place here?! I bumped against a shelf with an elbow and almost toppled down a train model placed on it. The whole attic was laden with trains. They were everywhere – on the shelves, on the window sills, in the cupboards. Photos, pictures and post cards with trains decorated the attic walls.

I took the bottle with antiseptic and unscrewed the cap. My jeans were torn, abrasion on my knee was bleeding. Antiseptic burned my knee and I bit my lip. Raindrops loudly clattered in a small attic window. An ancient lamp with shabby gilt shaded reddish gleams on the attic walls. I dried my eyes with a sleeve and finally could breathe easier.

– Vitaly, pass me a cross driver! 

Unwillingly I started to dawdle in the toolbox. I had tolay out almost all its content when finally at the very bottom I have found the driver. I gave it to grandpa and had just sat on the stool when I heard:

– It’s the wrong one, I need a big one with a blue handle – grandpa shifted his glasses on his nose tip.

I could have already foreseen that and should have brought him the whole box.

– Grandpa but what do I do without the bicycle? 

– Young man, I am still waiting for the driver with the blue handle! – Insistently said grandpa.

I frowned and again started grubbing in the toolbox. This time I was lucky:the blue handle stucked out on the top.

 

– Thank you, now this is what I need! – Pleased grandpa began to unscrew parts form the radio frame.

– Grandpa, but why are you spending time on this old junk? It should be simply thrown away!

I do not remember even one day when grandpa did not repair anything. I do not know where he found these things to repair. Maybe it was not he, but those things found him…

Grandpa shook his head - I will not throw this radio away; I will repair it.

I got bored of sitting on one place. I came to the window and started to look upon the train models arranged on the windowsill.  – Grandpa, why do you collect precisely trains? 

For the first time grandfather looked up from the radio – Why precisely trains? – He attentively looked at me. – Trains give freedom. It is possible to travel anywhere with their help. You choose your train and your destination by yourself. 

A dull noise came from the radio. Then there was a rustle and cracking, and the radio was silent again.

–  I have just told you that this radio is worth nothing!

Grandpa grinned. – I have not finished yet. – And he began to check the next part of the radio circuit.

The rain outside became stronger. Playing and racing with each other raindrops blurred on the glass. What does this water pattern look like? A cloud? Tree? Train?

A waltz melody sounded up and a man’s voice pronounced that a book fair had been opened today. 

– That’s done, – smiled grandpa, taking off glasses and wiping his hands, – the radio is alive again. 

I was silent. Actually, Ihad no doubts that grandfather would fix the radio. Grandpa can repair even such things which seems that nothing can save. Grandpa was turning the dial, broadcasting stations were changing one another. The old attic was filing up with new sounds, melodies and voices.

I was already in the doorwaywhen grandpa called me. – Vitaly I want to give you something. He took a blue train from the shelf and passed it to me. The model was the pride of grandpa’s collection and he had never allowed me even to touch it.

Rain was still harshly pattering on the pavement when I went outside. I hardly pulled my broken bicycle through puddles. One wheel almost did not spin.Coming back to my home I dropped the bicycle on the wet grass bitterly.  I got out the blue train from the backpack in my room and was looking at it for a long time. Stations started gliding past me one after another. The train picked up the speed and now we were already rushing forward. I hanged out of the window and the wind blew in my face. People crowded on the platforms, some of them were waving at me, others shouting something, but I could not catch the words.

The train continued to rush forward, but I was already running into the yard. The bicycle was faithfully laying down where I had dropped it. Having brought a box with the tools I began to unscrew a rear wheel. I know. I will not travel by trains. It is clear. I will set off by my bike. And it does not matter that it is broken now. I will fix it. I am persistent. I have it from my Grandad.