The grass was still wet with the early morning dew. Samuel’s feet moved as slow as a turtle. There was a time that he had been able to run like a deer. Won many cross country races in school, but those days were long gone.
He paused in his walking, giving himself a little rest. There was no rush, nobody was waiting for him.
No one was waiting for him at home either, so it didn’t matter when he returned. Some people would be sad about living alone, but not Samuel. He enjoyed living in his cottage on the hill.
The days were pleasantly passed by reading and watching the sheep in the pasture below.
After what he had been through, days of peace was what he needed.
He was almost there now. Once a year he made this trek out to the railroad tracks. Samuel may not remember things as easily as he did before, but he would never forget the date of the accident
That was the day that changed his life. The last day that he was ever on a train again.
Everyone was so worried about him afterwards. Crowding into his hospital room and visiting him at the rehab facility. He knew they meant well but he really just wanted to be left alone. Five years later he finally got his wish.
He found his “castle ” on the hill. The cottage was quite big enough for him and his dog Wally. Wally brought him a lot of love. When he had seen him at the shelter he knew he was the dog for him. Not many people wanted Wally, but Samuel did. Wally had a lame leg too.
At first his friends didn’t understand his desire to move away but over time they saw it was good for him. They still kept in touch and visited from time to time.
No one knew though about the trek he made each year. Oh, they would have fretted if they knew. They would tell him that he couldn’t walk that far on a lame leg, but what did they know.
They still tried to tell him that the accident wasn’t his fault, but they didn’t know everything.
He couldn’t turn back the wheels of time but he could come to the sight of the accident every year in remembrance of those who had been injured. Every day he was thankful that no one had died. He couldn’t have lived with himself if that would have happened.
Yes, that day long ago he had put on his conductor’s hat for the last time. His name had been cleared after the investigation but that was only because no one knew what he knew.
No one but him and his dog, Wally knew the truth about the Wintergreen Woods Train accident, and thats the way it would stay.