I was sitting in the end seat of a different carriage in a different train at a different time of day than usual. I had opened my laptop and had a blur of data scrolling up the screen.
The doors from the station closed as the doors from the next carriage opened, and a young couple strode through, and sat quickly together in the two seats next to me, leaving one seat free. I did not look up.
She sighed heavily. The train sped up as it left the station. The young man jumped to his feet, crossed the carriage to the vacant seats opposite and sat there, swinging his feet up next to him so he could turn and look out the window. His hair was light brown and freshly cut in a strict mullet. A fresh crop of pimples shone on his forehead. I pretended I hadn’t looked up.
She sighed again and I could sense the tears behind the noise. Her head lowered and I felt the strain with which she was stopping herself from weeping. I typed a few keys and faked absorption in the numbers dancing before me, keeping my head down.
The train pulled into the next station and a few more passengers entered the space. None of them sat, most wandering off into the main carriage. The girl jumped to her feet and paced between the doors as if wanting to flee but unable to do so, as if invisibly tethered to the boy.
She sat again, sighed and clasped her hands in her lap. “I didn’t want this.” She said, “It’s not my fault”. “Whatever”, he answered, and I felt a rush of hate for him and that word, as careless and unfeeling as they both were.
The cold winter air contracted as the train aircon took over. He shifted on the seat and glanced at her. She kept her head down, her long dark hair hiding her face. He looked out the window again. She suddenly leaned towards me and I realised she was looking at the screen, reading the time in the menubar.
At the next stop, they quickly rose and exited, her ahead of him. I watched them on the platform as she placed one hand on her rounded belly and extended the other to him. To his credit, he took it and put his arm around her.
I hope the termination was quick and that she would recover quickly. I also hoped her future life would be without this particular boy.
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