“I think we are done” - the man said as he walked into the T.
“No we are not done, you have not told me why” - the pretty redhead replied.
They were whispering, or rather, failing to whisper, but the car was crowded and most everybody had earphones on, me included, but the podcast I was listening to had just ended and I was reading a book. We were all swaying lightly as on a ship as the car sped down the tracks..
“You know why” - replied the man, staring over her shoulder out the opposite window .
“If I did, I would not be asking would I? You can’t just say that and leave it, it is not that easy, you owe me an explanation” - she said, tilting her head, trying to lock his gaze.
“If we go into it it will be worse, why must we talk everything through? There is no profit in it, we end up worse than we started and nobody benefits. Can’t we just leave it at that?”
“No, no you don’t, you can’t just get out of this so easily, I have an investment in this you know? Years...” - her voice trailed as she struggled to keep her composure - I knew that clench of the jaw well - the eyes shining with suppressed tears.
Standing next to them I was invisible, they were aware and not aware of us, the crowd of morning commuters cocooned in their own smartphones, the couple glowing in color against black and white surroundings. There are moments like that in life, a first kiss, the sudden onset of grief, the world warps and deforms around you, like a silent concussion of air.
He would not reply - they rode in silence for a few minutes, he staring out the window, her looking intently at her shoes.
The arrival at the next station jarred them awake - they had to move aside for people getting in and out.
“You owe me an explanation” - she whispered hoarsely - “You owe me...”
“I am not going to let this go, I can’t let his go, I will follow you into work, do you want me to do that? Because I will, and you know I will”
“You need to talk to me...” - she said, her voice cracking
“Ok, ok ... I called her a few days ago”
“... You called her?” - she said her voice cracking
“Yes, I did...”
“You said it was over, you said she didn’t want to talk to you anyways, that she was done too, isn’t she getting married?”
“No, she changed her mind”
“Because of you? did you chase after her? did you start this whole thing again?” - Her voice now had risen to a pitch, anger replacing the hurt, tears of rage now streaming down her face unnoticed.
“No, it’s not that way at all, see why I did not want to go into it? See what happens, do you feel any better now, would you not have been better if we had left it be instead of digging into it”
“You smug son of a bitch!”
Now the whole car was listening, earphones dangling, smartphones poised in mid air as the train roared into the station, the conductors voice crackling over the intercom announcing the stop.
The doors opened and she shoved him out of the way with her fists, half collapsing into him, but recovered and went out the doors though a corridor of passengers waiting to get on, startled at the crying woman storming out of the train. The girl stopped, turned around, took a ring off her finger and flung it at him. The ring tinkled on the car’s floor and rolled into the gap as the man stared at it - the girl already running to the escalator. The door to the car closed.