Jessica’s Train Ride

I wheeled up the mini-high platform, so I could board the train at the accessible seating area. Michael, please come with me, I thought to myself as the train started departing the station. I wish I made my brother come with me. I started tearing up and by the time we arrived at Kent Station (the next station on the line), I was full-blown crying. I had my laptop out and started working on one of my projects for WorldSoft, hoping the distraction would help.

I didn’t know if I would be able to work since I was very worried about my brother. He was with this thing (creep or monster would be too polite) that really disgusted me. I put on a polite face, but now that I was on my own on board the train, I made up my mind: I hated my brother’s girlfriend since she treated him so badly.

Someone came up to me and I recognized her as one of my coworkers. Jessica, what are you doing… She then noticed my crying and asked, What happened?

It’s my brother. He’s trapped with this slob of a girlfriend and that’s being polite, I sobbed.

Ellen knew how close I was with him, having seen the many pictures of us on my desktops and laptops.

The train is approaching Tukwila Station… Tukwila Station… Look around for personal belongings and watch your head on the luggage rack, The train’s automated voice called out. Unknowing that my heart was broken. Uncaring that I was upset. By now, I was full blown crying and a few more coworkers came up to me, signaled by Ellen to come over.

It wasn’t that long of a ride to Tukwila Station and I just couldn’t stop crying. I decided to stop working and call Kristin, my little sister Rachel’s best friend and roommate, and said, Michael and his control freak slob of a girlfriend are on their way to Pierce County. If you catch them on the bus, please keep an eye on them. I’m very worried about Michael, I sobbed.

I can do that, Kristin said, Why are you crying?

I’m so worried about Michael, I said.

She asked, Where are you now?

I replied, On the train at Tukwila on my way to work. I spent the night with them in Kent on my way home from Canada and I think the health inspector should condemn their house. Has Rachel left for work?

Yeah. She must open today. She just left and should be on the bus now if you want to call her, Kristin said.

The fare inspector came by and we all flashed our WorldSoft IDs, with Ellen helping me. She’s having a mental breakdown and we are trying to help her, Another one of my coworkers explained, We are all getting off at King Street.

Let me call her, I said, resuming the phone call, See you and Rachel tomorrow at Lakewood Mall.

I then called my little sister Rachel and explained everything in a nutshell that happened in Kent. By the time I was done explaining, the 545 was dropping me off at Overlake Transit Center. I wheeled over to the loading bay for the WorldSoft Campus Shuttles and continued crying.

Jessica, what’s wrong, One of my coworkers, Lucy, asked when I was loaded onto the shuttle.

It’s my brother. He’s trapped with this slob of a girlfriend. No, that’s being too polite. Now I wish I required him to catch the train with me, I sobbed.

Jessica, please take it easy, Another coworker, Kyle, said, If you need anything, let us know. We’ll all be here for you.

Thanks everyone, I said as I rang the bell for my stop. My coworkers knew I didn’t cry for anything, so they knew something was very wrong when they found out I was crying all the way from Kent on the Sounder and the 545.

We know how close you are to your brother. Please, call him and try to get him up here. We can have someone meet him at the TC, another coworker, Mark, said. He then got onto his phone and said, Andromeda, it’s Mark. Get everyone to the shuttle stop. We have a situation with Jessica.

Rachel and Kristin are going to try to intercept him on one of the Pierce buses, I said, I’m having him check in every time he changes buses.

Jess, you should turn back and make your way to Pierce County then and go get him, Kyle said.

I have a job to do. I’m going to do it, I said stubbornly as the lift set me on the sidewalk. Several of my coworkers walked at my side as I wheeled to my building.

When I entered, there were several people at the entrance to greet me. Everyone was worried about me. My supervisor came over and asked, Jessica, what happened?

Through my continued sobs, I was able to explain, I just saw my brother for the first time in a few years, I paused to sob some more, And he’s with this disgusting pig of a girlfriend. I cried some more and continued, I’m just so upset at how she treated both of us when I spent the night with them. They were visiting her aunt’s place in Kent and I’m just so worried.

I looked at the text message my brother sent: Downtown Tacoma about to board the 2, vehicle #186. I immediately called Kristin and said, They’re on the #2 and are about to leave 10th & Commerce on Bus 186. I need you to intercept them discretely on that 2. Do not for any reason try to talk to Michael if Delores is with him. She’s very jealous – she has a problem with him hugging Rachel and I – so talk only if he’s alone.

Understood. He should be perfect in his timing: this is the bus I want to catch anyways for school, Kristin replied.

Thanks, got to go, I sobbed.

Bye. See you tonight, Kristin said.

I pulled up to my workstation and just could not stop crying. I knew I had a job to do and I planned on doing my job. I was working for a little while when my phone rang. It was the Spot in Lakewood, where my sister Rachel works. I decided to answer hoping for some news. WorldSoft, this is Jessica, I sobbed.

Jess, I’m here at Spot and I just saw Michael, Kristin, and Delores come by. Michael and Delores look like they haven’t groomed or anything in ages. She seemed very bossy and I’ve made up my mind. He needs to leave her. I need to get going, my break is over in a few minutes.

Thanks Rachel, I sobbed.

That’s when Andromeda, my boss, asked me, Would you like if I route all of your calls to me? I can allow people through on a case-by-case basis.

Please, I sobbed as I started writing some names and numbers down on a small notepad. I handed it to her and said, They may be routed through no question. On that list was: my sister Rachel (both her Cell and Work numbers), Kristin’s Cell, my brother’s Cell, and my Dad (home and Cell).

A bunch of coworkers came over to me as 11:30 was approaching. We’ll walk with you to lunch if you’d like Jess, Kyle said.

The elevator dropped us off at the ground level and we got in line for food. Jessica, would you like to take the afternoon off and go collect your brother? I can drive you down to Kent and take you two back to Renton. Your wheelchair will fit in my SUV no sweat, Trevor – our team leader – offered.

Thanks, but I want to work my hours, I sobbed, Besides, he’s down in Lakewood in Pierce County.

Have him come up to Redmond. Bring him here, and we will try to get him out of this mess, Trevor said.

I decided to text him, Please come to Overlake (take 545 from Downtown Seattle). Coworkers want to meet you. Call when on 545.

He texted back, On 410 to S Hill, transferring to 564 to Kent. Cousin wants us.

I texted back, Going to Call You.

I then motioned my coworkers to come over and I placed my phone on speaker. Andromeda quickly said, Let me do the talking. I have an idea.

I sobbed, OK.

Andromeda opened the phone conversation: Michael? This is Andromeda, Jessica’s boss. We would like for you to come up to WorldSoft, so we can meet you. Jessica says you’re on the bus to South Hill?

Meanwhile, another coworker was looking up bus schedules and handed it off to Andromeda. We need you to come up to WorldSoft, Andromeda continued.

We heard him speak to Delores, My sister’s boss is on the phone with me and wants us to come to WorldSoft right now.

I quickly wrote something down, Please have lunch ready for my brother. Do not feed her! Make any excuse you need. I wrote Do Not Feed Her in all caps, wanting to make it clear how much I hated her, for how she was treating my baby brother.