This is an excerpt from a larger body of writing I am working on. It is pure fiction, and any resemblance to a real place or person is only a coincidence.
I entered the train off the Southbound tracks and prayed that it would be cooler once the doors closed. The heat penetrated through my sunflower print dress, thin straps hugging my shoulders held in place by beads of salty sweat. The car was packed, but there you were, hanging on for dear life in the centre. Hand reached up, clenching tightly on the bar, your lengthy limbs provided you stability. Stability I wanted you to one day give me.
As I pressed up against the side panel, swinging my slouched purse in front of me, I grabbed my phone. Shuffling through my playlist, “try, baby try. Give me a moment of your time,” came on. I smirked, and caught your eye. Light green, a colour only given to the chosen ones, I couldn’t believe how warm our stare felt. Brief, yet it lingered.
As passengers exited, I painted an image of you and me in my head. What would we look like tomorrow? 121 days from today? Next year? Could we be old and grey, possibly senile, together. It’s enchanting how one glance can provide such a solid canvas for the mind to play on.
In the other hand you were reading a novel. Swinging with the momentum of the train, flipping the pages between your strong thumb and index finger. I wondered if you’d drop it. I almost wished you had.
I heard the grumbling of an old man as his wife spoke to him softly. Do you think they met in a similar fashion? Waiting patiently for someone to break the static silence. It’s not for lack of things to say. I have never been one to be shy around strangers, yet you seemed different. Breaking the silence could change my world from before him, to after him.
A few more stops. Living in the city does that to you. It’s always a few more stops, and I wanted you to get off with me. Hold my hand, navigate, silently, to the streetcar, it would take us home.
You shifted ever so slightly to face me head on, your boat shoes hinting that you may sail. Could we feel the breeze together? We were both sticky from the heat. If we just try, could two strangers make it work?
Just as I pondered the thought, you exited with a brief nod, coy smile, and twinkle in your eye. My scrunched up side smirk said it all, as no words came out of my mouth. My afternoon would play out differently than planned. You, circling the thoughts of my mind, wasting away the moments until we, perchance, meet again.
There he goes, and here I go. Next stop. Next thought.
Pic found here.