This is part 1 of Chapter 1. It's a story by Kathy/Tallorder64.
It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant to make you ponder why people kill themselves over seemingly nothing.
Bruce Jamison watched as the commuter train approached his station. He looked around and saw that all of the people waiting to board the train werestaring at the train as if mesmerized by the approach of the huge beast that took them into New York City at this time of the morning, Monday through Friday. Bruce had been riding this train for seven years now; ever since he and Beth had moved to Connecticut.
Bruce had met Beth at a friend's partyand they had hit it off right away. They had lived in New York City for the first five years of their marriage. For the first couple of years, after moving to Connecticut, Beth had driven him to the train station. He couldn't remember when or why she had stopped driving him to the station; she just didn't take him anymore. These days, he drove his car to the station and parked it there all day.
The bitter January wind gusted and several of the passengers turned away from the wind. Bruce pulled his knit cap down over his ears and inwardly cursed the sharp wind... It was still dark and the sun had not imparted any of it's warmth on the biting wind. Bruce's stomach seemed to twist inside his body and a bit of bile spilled into his throat. He pulled the breath mints out of his pocket and popped two of them in his mouth. The mints burned his tongue as they dissolved in his mouth. He took a sip from the throw-away cup that held his first cup of coffee of the morning; the hot liquid burned his tongue. The burning was magnified by the irritation of the breath mint. The breath mints were with him throughout his day to mask the smell of alcohol. Bruce never drank during the day but he was afraid that someone would smell alcohol on his breath from the night before.
At night, after he left the office and arrived at the station in the city, it was usually twenty or thirty minutes before his train arrived but lately that was enough time for three martinis. After he got home and ate dinner he would go into the study and work for a while on the cases that had been assigned to him and have another drink or two, sometimes more if the case was grinding on him. By no stretch of the imagination could anyone call him an alcoholic. He never let alcohol interfere with his work and he didn'ttake a drink during the day. Even at the power lunches he drank coffee oriced tea. Most of his fellow lawyers would swear that he didn't drink. Hehad promised long ago that he would never be like his father.
Brice Jamison had passed his bar exam on the first try. The law firm that had recruited him right out of law school had assisted him with tutors and time off to study for the exam. He repaid them, in spades, rapidly becoming one of the best corporate lawyers in the city. His reputation drew clients to the law firm like a magnet. Bruce quickly had his own staff working forhim. His salary grew along with his reputation. He had planned to work a few years to get his feet on the ground and then start his own practice but the money that he was making now was just too hard to turn away from. For some reason, partnership in the firm always seemed just a millimeter away. Right there but he couldn't touch it. Bruce told himself that it was because the firm was huge and the older partners were greedy.
The train slowed to a stop in front of the platform, pushing a bit of the frigid January air ahead of it. There was a rush to board the train and Bruce held back, knowing that there would be plenty of seats. Since this was one of the first stops, there were always plenty of seats. Bruce got on the train and began to walk toward his regular seat just as the train started to roll. He slid over to the window and looked out, into the half-light, at the Connecticut scenery slipping past the window. As it usually happened when hestarted his trip into the city, he got the feeling that something was wrong with his being on this train. He really didn't like New York City that much.
A movement in the aisle caused him to look up. A distinguished looking man,with a full head of striking silver hair, sat down next to him and nodded in greeting. Bruce smiled politely and opened his New York Times. The words printed on the paper didn't interest him and he drifted from one news article to another before folding the paper and putting it on his lap. He looked out of the window again and saw the eastern sky beginning to get a little lighter. The sun would almost be up when they pulled into New York.