As she picked up the zip-lock bag that had help the two apples she had cut up into bite sized pieces the day before, she remembered what happened while on the train and wondered if the apples somehow saved her life.
It was Friday, April 20th and she hurried to get out of her apartment to catch the early train. Since she hadn't had breakfast that morning, for lack of time, she decided to bring two apples that day instead of the usual one. In her hurry, she left her hot water bottle upstairs, but decided against turning back for it.
She made the 13 minute journey to the train station along her usual gently sloping upward route. It was such a beautiful day that day that she neither wore a coat nor brought her inside jacket for work. A simple cardigan was all she needed as she basked in the warming weather.
As the train pulled into the station, she noticed it was exceptionally more crowded than it used to be, at least the first cart, wherein she always took a spot. With earbuds in, and an intriguing audio-book playing, she positioned herself at the door and prepared for the 21 minute journey. It was Friday and since she hadn't slept so well the night before, she was looking forward to the weekend. She just hadn't expected it to start the way it did.
About 15 minutes into the journey, she started to feel a strange feeling coming over her, and fear crept into her eyes as she thought "I hope it's not the same thing." The train was really crowded by this time and people pressed against her on every side. She tried to breathe much deeper as she felt the blood draining from her head all the way down to her legs. She suddenly felt pale, started to sweat profusely and felt incredulously nauseous. Almost immediately after those sensations, she felt a sharp excruciating pain that threatened to force her into a ball, except she was trying to hold on for dear life and not pass out. She prayed, "Oh God, please don't let me fall. Please don't let me fall."
Her eyes started to close but she willed them open, in much the same way as she willed both arms to stay fixed to the poles of the train. She was thankful for the crowd that pressed her which supported her weight more than her hands could. Time seemed to slow down, much too slow, as she bowed and raised her head as though resisting the urge to give up. There was an empty seat only a few feet away, but she had not the strength to make even one step toward it through the dense crowd, which no doubt would have required some utterance of speech at the least, for them to give way.
Four more stops and 5 minutes to go before we got to the final stop. At the next stop, the man who sat in the seat next to where she was standing got up and made his exit. She released her grip while carefully guiding her body to swing around to the left, plopping densely into the space available. She couldn't hold herself up, though she tried. She wondered if anyone noticed her actions or were even slightly aware of her plight. She remembered the apples in her bag and thought a few pieces may help to shake this feeling. Then she felt a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. "What's next?" she thought as she clenched her fists in pain, bowing her head upon her hands, which, once again, gripped the rail bar as if for some magical ease.
She heard the familiar female voice of the automated announcer echoing the final stop. Would she be able to stand up? Would she be able to make it to the bathroom several meters away? She was about to find out in the next 30 seconds. She mustered all the strength she could to stand and find a space in between the exiting passengers. She knew time was short as those on the outside waiting to come in would not continue to exercise such patience much longer. She was out of the train and unto the platform. She saw a friend making their way to the train she had just disembarked. Noticing something was wrong, the friend queried and she could only shake her head gently as all efforts were focused on getting to the bathroom. Her friend's eyes glanced from her to the train and then back at her again. They made a dash for the train and she knowingly and understandingly, lowered her head and made it to the bathroom.