The International Writers Magazine: Comment

Train Doors Open
Joanna Valevich

wo marbles of crystal blue carefully scan the morning paper. A few strands of her sunshine yellow hair fell to her face completely uninvited so she gently brushed them back behind her ears. Calmly yet attentively she studied each article in the newspaper and when something did not please her she gazed up and moved the tiny muscles of her mouth sideways.

With her legs neatly crossed, she rested a black purse on her lap. With the other hand she held a blueberry muffin which sent a tiny cascade of crumbs down to the floor with every enjoyable chomp. Her wrinkleless face indicated her youth and innocence and the apple red of her lipstick implied a wild side.

Everyday for two years Steven rode the 8:35 morning train to Madison avenue, where his 9 to 5 nightmare awaited him. It was well worth the trip as long as she temporarily surrounded him with her seductive aura. He knew she had noticed him in their two years together on that packed train, but she never indicated an interest Instead of acting on impulse Steven sat back on his seat as his intent faded into the train’s viscous smell. He wondered about her personality, and gave her imaginary roles to play in his head, the way he dreamed her to be.

When she wasn’t looking, he playfully gazed at her like a foolish teenager in love. He felt he would do anything for this woman but insecurity destroyed any attempt. Filled with delightful thoughts, Steven slouched back in his seat. Vivid images of the woman flashed like a slide show in his mind as he closed his sleepy eye… The sound of the conductor’s mundane voice interrupted Steven’s temporary euphoria. He violently jerked his head from side to side to free himself of his dream like state. With his two index fingers, Steven rubbed out any morning dew that has managed to survive. Minutes before she departed, Steven fought with his consciousness one again, Disappointed, he shook his head no. Suddenly, the woman’s muffin wrapper fluttered down to the gum infested floor.

Automatically he notices but hesitates to pick it up.

Mechanically his legs began to move and without thinking he gets down on one knee, He reaches out for the wrapper, trapping the sticky material between his two fingers. He then looks up at the woman for an instance and their eyes lock. Anxiously he waits…and she waits…calm and collected. The distant tapping of an old man’s rubber sole on the train floor distracted the moment for an instant, but soon her eyes were back on Steven. His mouth opened but no words came out. She took a breath as Steven nervously blinked for a two second interval. On coming passengers switched places with the old but yet no words were exchanged. Gradually anxiety rushed through his soul like a tornado. The woman looked away in disappointment. Steven motioned his hands for her to wait. Still no words. Silence began to ring loudly in his ears. The suspense was unbearable and torturing, Question in his mind float disorganized and lost…She he? Should she? Why should they? It is funny how so much can go on inside of a person before a decision made…but time will not stop for this moment.

The train doors open and the matter remains…inconclusive.

© Joanna Valevich September 2006

This is Joanna's first piece for us

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