There is a legend in my town, about a hidden platform at our local underground station. They call it platform No. 0. I have used this train station numerous times but I have never seen that platform before. People say you stumble upon it when the time is right. The myth reveals that anyone who experience a ride in the train that starts from this station would have a life changing experience.

I myself do not how I reached this platform but I am here now. I was thrilled and anxious at the same time, however I was not scared as I was not alone. I saw a girl, probably 7-9 years old wearing a pink frock stand near the entrance of a compartment which was a couple of blocks away. The compartment doors open and she boarded the train. I was not sure what I should do, however I knew I could not let a kid ride the train alone. So, I boarded compartment closest to me quickly. The doors closed and the train was set in motion. I quickly moved up the compartments to get to that little girl.

She was seated and looking at the window at the one side of the train. I walked up to her and asked her, “Hey there kiddo, what are you doing alone in this train?”. “I don’t know”, she replied. “I didn’t know where to go so I boarded the train. I usually go on a train to meet my daddy. Will this take me to daddy?”, asked the puzzled little girl for whom I did not have an answer. “I’m not sure but I will try to get you to your daddy.”, I said. Her face gleamed with a smile. “My name is Shawn. What is your name?” “Lisa”, she said while looking through the glass window of the train. I turned my head to see what caught her attention and it amused me as well.

The walls of the underground tunnel were painted with finest detail of images. Images of a child with her mom. That is when I realized, the train is moving at a pace which was not normal. It was slow, as if it was a journey meant to be experienced rather than traveled. The paintings were beautiful, each and every one of them. It told a story of kid laughing and smiling with her parents. Lisa and I moved closer to the window to watch these paintings. It was heart-warming. A painting of the kid smiling with a missing tooth, probably after the fall of the baby tooth. A kid sleeping on top of a big dog as if was the biggest animal in the world. A kid wearing a bug’s costume for Halloween with a bowl full of chocolates and so on. As the train moved on, the kid in the painting grew bigger and bigger with more pleasant memories a kid could have.

The more we traveled I started to feel cold, quite cold and through of the kid who was by my side ran by my head. May be my care for her had been triggered by these paintings, but none the less I removed my jacket and give it to the girl. “It is getting cold in here, wear this. It will keep you warm”, I said. She smiled at me and said, “Thanks, but I think you would need more than I do”. She was right, I looked to be in a more bad shape when compared to her, but I didn’t expect a kid to be this aware of her surroundings. I slow turned my head back towards the window, when something struck me. The girl in the painting looks like her. I looked at her one more time and this time I was sure. It was her, however I did not know what was happening. Why would the walls be painted by pictures of a girl who was next to me? Who has never been on this train or this route. Before I could ask her about it, the train slowly started coming to a halt and the final painting on the wall was in front of us.

I was shocked at its sight. It was a girl wearing a pink frock at the station with her mom, laughing as usual and the corner of the painting near the track stood someone. It was me who was in the painting and I could see how I looked like. I finally recalled what happened. I had a miserable life, tormented and dreaded as death could be. I never felt happy nor did I feel alive. I was going through the roughest patch of my life and I had no light to set my sights on nor did I have a warmth that I could grab onto. On that day, I was at the station, to end it all and hence waited for the train to come by. A train to stop halt everything in my life. This girl was playing with her mom and had tripped and fell on the track as the train approached.

It wasn’t an act of heroism that I was after, however I felt it was not her time be at this place, hence I jumped and pushed her over to the other side of the track. The train traveled on finally came to z standing halt. “I guess it is time for me to go back to my daddy.”, she said. “Hope you find your station too Shawn”, she said. “You can look at the painting on the other side till you reach your place. Bye! Bye!”, she said. I turned my head quickly and tears started to flow for what was at sight. I wiped them off and I turned back to bid my farewell with Lisa.

I finally realized that I only have one station to get off, and that would be the last stop, however I was happy she didn’t have to join me till there. I turned around watched the painting on the other side, where all my happy memories of my life passed by. It occurred to me that we do not see what we have and we fixate on the things others have and darken our own world and experiences. I was so absorbed with all the negativity that I missed on being grateful for all the wonderful that I had been through which these paintings are showing me. Now I realized why people say this would be a life changing experience. Getting an opportunity to go through this experience and getting off half through this journey is more than enough to change anyone. Lisa is probably too young to realize this, but I do hope she always cheerful as the painting portrait-ed her. I sat down, relaxed myself as I grew colder and colder to enjoy all my memories I can see as this train headed toward the end of this tunnel.