Three passengers sat on a bench in the car. The young man was gripping the straps of a large duffle bag sitting at his feet. His other hand was held tightly by an older woman at his side. Her eyes were transfixed on his face with a mixture of pride, love, and concern. She was his mother. To the other side was another young man of roughly the same age. He nervously chatted with his friend.
The PA system announced the oncoming station which included the train terminal. The young man began to stand up, but his mother pulled down at his shoulder.
Mom, this is my stop.
We haven't stopped yet.
The son conceded and sat back down. When the train hissed and squealed at the stop. He stood up and embraced his mother. His friend stood awkwardly at the side.
When will you be home?
Hopefully at Christmas. Hey, mom?
The young man gestured at the friend standing behind him.
Take care of him.
Always. I love you and I'm so, so proud...
Tears cut her off. The son's eyes welled up and he nodded. They hugged again.
I love you too, mom.
He turned to his friend. They clasped hands and then hugged with their other arms.
Take care of her.
Of course, man.
With that, the young man picked up his bag and slowly exited through the doors. After the doors shut, he stood on the platform and waved to his mother and his friend until he disappeared into the blur and the darkness.