It was good to have Cody back. His skin was pale and hung rather loosely from his limbs. His hair looked thin and sallow. But his mind was still sharp. We talked as though no time had passed at all. For him, of course, there hadn’t really been a lapse. But I’d lived fifteen years while he paused his life in that freezer. A break, he had called it, he just wanted a break. I think he was bored, and he had hoped the future would be more exciting.
We were alone underground, waiting for the subway. There is something eerie in that almost perfect temperature and the unnatural breeze blowing through those places. We stood on the platform, lost in conversation. The breeze kicked up into a solid wind and a train howled deep in the dark tunnel. It rattled forth a moment later. We stepped inside when the doors opened. They shut behind us instantly, and we began to move.
We kept talking as the train picked up speed. Overhead the lights flicked off and on, and then dimmed to half-light. I cast my eyes about the car and Cody fell silent. We both noticed that everyone was looking at us. Middle aged men in business suits and dowdy women all stared in our direction. Nobody looked healthy, they all looked lost. Suddenly, a man with a briefcase and a mustache spoke.
“You got on the wrong train.”
“This train is being shut down. It’s on its last run: a one way trip.”
Cody looked around, his brow creased.
“Oh man, he’s right! This is the train they’re retiring. We’re going the wrong way!”
“Well how do we get back?”
I didn’t understand how it could be so difficult, so I asked again. The man with the mustache explained that once we got to the end of the line, we were going to have to navigate our way through four different train stops. He said he didn’t really know what to expect, but it seemed like he knew something that he wasn’t sharing. I began to understand that this was a bigger matter than catching the wrong train. We were in trouble.