The train was supposed to leave in a couple of minutes. Svetlana entered the compartment and greeted the passengers.
An elderly couple was sitting on the bottom shelf, and a cute guy was sitting opposite.
– Hello, come in, come in! Where are you going to go? – the old lady asked affably.
– Good afternoon, I’m going to the final station.
– Yes, you have a long way to go. And we leave much earlier, but we still have to go until morning. So be patient – my husband and I will snore all night.
– Nothing, nothing. On the train, the wheels are knocking so hard that you can’t hear any snoring,” Sveta answered cheerfully and for some reason turned her gaze towards the young man.
He was looking at her intently and smiling. Svetlana smiled back and politely asked:
– Are these your parents?
– No, just fellow travelers. I’m going alone. And my name is Igor.
– Very nice. And I’m Svetlana, too, as you can see, I’m going alone.
While the old men were laying out the beds, the young people got out of the compartment and continued their conversation. Svetlana studied in absentia at the pedagogical institute, returned home after the session. And Igor had a business trip in Moscow. The girl passed the exams perfectly, the guy successfully coped with the work. In such a great mood, a long road is not a burden! On the contrary, I want to chat, have fun joking and share fresh impressions.
The guy’s work schedule was very busy. But it was still possible to visit Moscow museums. But Sveta didn’t have enough time.
– I spent days and nights in the dorm, cramming and cramming. I was afraid to pass the exams badly. Next time I will definitely allocate at least half a day to museums.
When they returned to the compartment, the old men were getting ready for dinner. A cheerful pensioner laid out simple supplies on the table and began to treat young people. Igor and Sveta also took bundles of food out of their bags. So it turned out to be a real feast in the carriage!
The old man did not stop talking for a minute – he recalled the old days, talked about his bygone youth. And the wife kept pushing Grandpa in the side and saying:
– That’s enough already, he’s gone. You can’t let people eat in peace.
But grandfather still did not want to let up. Dinner is already over, it’s time to go to bed. And he kept telling and telling, then he took the cards out of his pocket.
– Well, what? Shall we play? Until you beat me, I won’t let anyone fall asleep!
Everyone laughed and the pensioner, pleased with the successful joke, began to hand over the deck. The game went well. The company talked a lot, had a lot of fun. “You can probably hear us on the whole train,” the happy girl thought and continued to laugh loudly. Finally Igor beat the stubborn grandpa. He grunted with displeasure, muttered that it was too early to sleep, lay down and soon began to snore.
Igor and Sveta went out to stand in the aisle. Fields and trees flashed by the window, lonely stations flashed by.
– Tell me, Igor, you could have beaten the old man right away, right? – the girl asked, smiling slyly.
– I could, the first time! But I also wanted to sit next to you for a while. You have such an infectious laugh.
Sveta was embarrassed and turned away to the window. And then she seemed to burst. I wanted to talk to this random fellow traveler about everything in the world – about my childhood, about my parents and sister, about my hometown and a kind old grandmother. About school, institute, dreams and plans for future life.
When she finished telling the story, the girl looked at Igor carefully.
– I’m sorry, I guess you’re tired of listening to all this?
– No, it was very interesting. Just what should I tell you in response? At school, he was an ordinary quiet nerd, studied at the institute, served in the army. Now I go to work. And nothing else. I had no luck with girls, I still haven’t married. He probably seemed like a boring bore to them. And my friends say that I’m kind of unsociable. And you are so easy at heart, as if you have known each other for a long time. That’s amazing, isn’t it?
Suddenly they both felt very sad. The train was inexorably rushing forward. And with every kilometer there was less time for communication. It was as if they were reading each other’s thoughts – they really didn’t want to part. But none of them said it out loud.
– Well, it’s time to go to bed, – Sveta said sadly, and the young people quietly entered the compartment.
Trying not to wake the sleeping old people, they carefully climbed onto the upper shelves. However, I didn’t feel like sleeping at all.
Small dim lamps burned overhead. So they looked at each other and waved to each other. They did not dare to talk, even in a whisper. Soon the quick–witted guy found an interesting way out – he handed Svetlana a note. “It’s very boring. I can’t sleep. Let’s correspond. I’m waiting for an answer.”
The girl smiled and wrote on the same piece of paper: “I miss you too. How old are you? I turned 22 recently.” Literally a minute later, the guy handed her the answer: “And I will be 30 this year. Probably old already?”.
This nocturnal correspondence lasted for a long time. Igor and Svetlana shared interesting facts from life, exchanged jokes, anecdotes, warm words and good wishes. We fell asleep in the morning, and woke up in the middle of the day. The old people had long since left, and there were goodies on the table. We overslept breakfast, it’s time for lunch!
The day was wonderful. Again interesting conversations, jokes, fun, laughter. But by the evening it became uncomfortable. Igor didn’t want to say goodbye. Putting his things in his bag, he waved and slowly headed for the exit. He knew the town where Svetlana lived, knew where she worked. “I’ll find her later, definitely. What if it doesn’t work out? Or will she forget about me?”
Left alone, Sveta sighed sadly and thought, “Well, why didn’t he offer to meet again? He definitely liked me. A good guy, attentive, sincere, however, indecisive. That’s probably why he’s not married. Well, then, it’s not fate!”.
Kilometers flashed by the window again, and the girl sobbed bitterly. I wanted to pull myself together, but I couldn’t. I remembered Igor’s kind face, his friendly voice, honest, open look. No, there won’t be another chance like this in my life!
Suddenly, someone put a hand on her shoulder. The girl turned around and was stunned.
– Igor, you’re here again, – Svetlana didn’t even notice how she switched to “you”.
– Imagine, I walked along the train, and then jumped into the last car. Barely in time, the train was already leaving. I made an agreement with the conductor. It’s not far to your station, after all.
– And I didn’t hope already, – Svetlana whispered through tears, and the guy hugged her tightly.
– You know, dear, but you are my departing train, which I still caught up with.
– No one has called me a train yet, – the girl finally smiled. – That’s a compliment!
– No one will compliment you anymore, I won’t let you, – Igor joked cheerfully. – Today I’ll walk you all the way home. I hope you don’t mind.
– So be it, I allow it! It’s not for nothing that you jumped into the last car so deftly,” Sveta said coquettishly, and both burst out laughing.
It wasn’t long before the final one. Happy young people silently watched the landscape and listened to the sound of wheels. It seemed that their loving hearts were pounding just as loud and fast. Now they are fellow travelers for life.