There were sun speckles glistening on the roofs of houses passing by at high-speed. I was sitting in a train bound for the Japanese countryside and my eyes were glued to the window. Leaving behind the neon lights and concrete jungle I had felt excited from the first step I took on the Shinkansen.
My accumulated worries had finally overtaken me, leading to a broken heart and quitting my job. Taking a deep breath I tried to focus on the here and now. I could not believe it - the dream of being free, unbound, unchained had finally come true. However panic struck once more. Was this one of those dreams where you’re content, only to wake and find yourself someone else? I shook the idea off. Moments ago a lady in a pink suit had passed by offering coffee. The smell still lingered in the air and I felt disappointed having missed my chance. Dreaming of coffee and roasted aroma, my thoughts drifted off for a couple of minutes.
Something brought me back though. There was a reflection picking at my eyes trying desperately to gain my attention. I tilted my head to the side and gazed along the row of seats. A smartly dressed businessman was sitting two rows across from me reading the Tokyo Times. The suit was custom made and the rich darkness of the fabric was very appealing to the eye. He wore cufflinks and black leather shoes. Every time he got to the next paragraph his round trimmed glasses would shine brightly in my direction.
Suddenly as if having noticed my gaze he folded the paper, looked at his Swiss watch, got up and left. I was so struck by the speed of all this that a ghost image of the man stayed behind in his seat. Blinking, I saw that he had left something behind. I stood up and walked to his seat. There was a white object squeezed in the back cushion of the seat. It was a marble elephant, a white miniature elephant. Feeling it in my hands I sensed its worth, for the lines and the curves were of exquisite craftsmanship. For a few moments I got absorbed into the fine details of this object, not really thinking anything concrete, but rather enjoying the mindless state of being.
Awakening from this dreamy mind set, I rushed in the direction the owner had left. I felt a person like him, would be devastated to have lost something so valuable on the train. And who knows? Maybe not everybody would bring it to the Lost and Found, but just taking it and pawning it at the next pawnshop. After searching a few sitting cars I arrived at the train café. At this point I was sure he too had missed out on the lady in pink and was already sipping his cappuccino in a comfy armchair. But he was nowhere to be found. Exhausted I sat down in one of the armchairs, the brown leather sipping up my troubles. Momentarily the lady in pink asked if I wanted to order something. “Latte Macchiato please” I said and our fake smiles met briefly. She shuffled away only to return with a steaming coffee cup in hand.
“Finally”, I thought taking the cup to my lips. Savouring the hot familiar taste I opened my eyes and looked out upon the lush hills passing by. There were colourful flowers growing in patches in the fields. There was something glistening somewhere in between the hills and plants. And I could swear I saw a man in a smart black suit, riding a white elephant.