By the time the train pulls up to the station, the bold, six-digit reference on her ticket is engraved in her mind. It has passed through numerous memory comparisons—to birthdays, to phone numbers, to expiration dates of the items in her fridge (‘Ah, shit, forgot to throw out the greek yogurt’).
None stand out as being particularly applicable so she stashes the combination away for another time. In front of her, the train cars screech to a stop.
Numbers are important, she knows, because the universe is comprised of nothing if not conundrums and perplexities; numbers are straight-forward, factual and a comfort in the face of the inexplicable. She finds solace in equations and the logic that comes with them:
Two people minus one, divided by 6711 kilometres multiplied by 1896 hours equals x.
Even with the missing variable, she can warrant a guess to the outcome and knowing this dulls the ache in her chest. The door slides open and she boards.