Friday, July 29, 2005

Unfinished Business

She sat there, looking down. Once in awhile a stray hair tickled her face and she'd push it away idly. I somehow wished she would do something else so that I could feel justified in staring. Her nylons were torn, and the green of her shirt was not it's original colour. Those details, however, were not what had drawn me to her figure. It was the hopelessness - the look of longing. She turned in her seat, folded her legs underneath her and looked at the darkening sky as it passed by in a panoramic picture.

I did the same, turned to look out the window and found that all I could see was her reflection across the aisle. The tears trickled down her face now, and I could see her mouth moving in a silent plea. What is it, I thought, that makes me cry with someone I don't know? For even without my summoning, tears had formed in my eyes. My heart told me to listen, my mind told me to change seats. I listened to my heart - but she only looked up at me, surprised and embarassed that I had seen her soul. "I'm fine" she spoke, as only a woman could, and I felt unsure, as a man who doesn't understand the female psyche. I pressed on though. "You don't seem like it, miss. I am unsure why I'm talking to you, but something told me I should. "

Apparently my something was the wrong thing, because she excused herself, and moving past me exited the vehicle, leaving her purse behind. I sat back in my seat, and put on my headphones. I heard her voice in every song.

When I exited the train that night, I looked around for her, but she couldn't be seen in the press of the crowd gesturing and hugging and moving. I walked slower that night, feeling like I had missed something, that I had unfinished business behind me.

It wasn't until two days later that my heart let go of the memory.

That is, until I sat in Richies later that week, nursing my drink rather than go home. "And in breaking news.." I heard, and looked up half interestedly. My heart stopped in that moment, for the newsreporter was telling of how a young woman had committed suicide that night by throwing herself over an overpass after losing her husband. I recognized the picture immediately - her eyes. I stood up, wandered into the street and looked at the night. I will never forget that moment, the shock, the hopelessness, the inability to change the cirmcumstances. And in that moment, I understood her decision - I hated it with everything I was, but oh, I understood.

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