Mildew and mould hover freely inside the decade-age cabin, eventually welcoming a pair of sneakers, uncertainly wandering. Each step receives a pained, creaking answer. Unhurried climbing continues. One. Two. Three. Four. And more.
Her gloved hand reaches for the rusted knob, still frozen with the last breath of winter. With pounding chest, she opens the familiar room, a bedroom she once called hers.
It is still there.
The crumpled paper her nine-year-old palm crushed on a disappointing Christmas eve.
“No one left and no one came on the bare platform.”
They left without her and never came back decades after.