The train station is full of wandering spirits. I know that dozens of ghosts mingle with the crowd for some reason. I don’t see them all, but I can feel them around. I know that those urban legends about people who've committed suicide on the tracks aren't just horror stories, and those cutsie little tales about someone waiting for a lover even after death are anything but a sappy romance plot. Sometimes, I can make out translucent figures weaving through the droning masses. Other times, I can hear a light humming or a mournful cry. I know that it’s a spirit making those sounds; I can tell them apart from the regular crowd noise. I don’t know why I can. I just do.
Out of all the ghost stories about this ancient station, I have one favorite. It’s about the little boy who plays at the train tracks.
Decades ago when I was still young and active, a boy had been playing tag with his older brother when he jumped from the platform. Their mother was out of sight, and his brother was too far away to stop him. The train sped past immediately after. The boy’s ghost had been there ever since, laughing and skipping across the tracks. Curiously, only certain people are able to see the cheeky spirit. The story was pieced together by different accounts from little children who would point him out to their parents.
He never asked them to play nor tried to lure them toward the tracks, but sometimes the boy would stop what he was doing and just plop down wherever he was. He would narrow his large eyes and pout for a few hours as if waiting for someone or something. Occasionally, a brave child would try to talk to the fidgety ghost, and coax him into saying what exactly it was he wanted. Unfortunately, the boy never answered. Whatever he was waiting for would come eventually though, because his entire demeanor would light up after a few hours, and he would jump back up to play again.
The tale is my favorite because that little boy is the one I see most clearly. While all the other train station spirits switch from translucent to invisible from time to time, his ghost is always visible. It’s as if I could touch him like any other person if I got close enough. He is never blurry nor silent to me. I am always able to tell his laughter apart from all the other children, dead or alive. For years, I have seen his joy and heard his laughter. I have sat here on this train station bench and watched him play for hours every single day for almost all my life.
And without asking, I know who he waits for.