The cold train rocked and rattled the corner window, as I looked up from my book. I saw a young woman among the passengers, who was reading as well. Our eyes locked from across the train car. I was taken by her clear, green eyes. She wore a white sleeveless blouse and her hair was in a tight bun. Neither of us acknowledged the moment with a smile, so as naturally as I could, I just looked away.
For a minute or so, I pretended to engage in my book again, but I couldn’t help but feel that she was still looking back at me. When I took a moment to glance back up again, I saw her eyes were still locked in on me, just as before.
I was uneasy now. Her face was strangely calm, as if she was observing an inanimate object. Something about her aura began to make me feel flustered and powerless. I told myself it was foolish to analyze why… since my stop was only a few minutes away. I sat through those minutes, that felt like eons. I forced myself to fixate my attention towards the other window. I even refrained from looking for her among the reflections in the glass.
Before the train came to a full stop, I had already grabbed my coat, ready to exit the train. The doors opened and I was the first one off. As I walked away, I couldn’t resist but look back…
… I could see her still there, casually observing me from the passenger window. I turned away and picked up speed, trying to distance myself from the station. I was thoroughly spooked.
As I walked, I started to pay attention to my shoes, that felt strangely tight and weighty. Every time I looked down at them, I imagined the woman with green eyes, wedged somewhere between my toes and the sole, invading any free foot movement I had control over. As silly as it seemed, I wondered… was she really gone?
The last streaks of winter sun slipped behind the clouds, and I walked through the grey city, feeling a painful sensation building inside my left shoe. I stopped to sit and remove it. I stretched my toes but felt little relief. I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down.
I imagined the woman again, and wondered if she was thinking about my every move. Then I slipped my shoe back on and loosened the laces. I could feel a buzzing around my heels, and after a few more breaths, I allowed her in again, this time with more curiosity.
I told myself, “Maybe this is a good thing. If she really is here… she can wear my footsteps.”
I got up and began to walk again. Somehow, with one shoe looser than the other, my feet felt more at ease, and so did my focus. I heard the train off in the distance, but this time I didn’t look back. The day felt settled, and I walked straight home.. accompanied by the soft weight of green eyes. The night guided the way, as she moved forward… comfortable in her own shoe.
serenity sun days is a writing series inspired by music and daylight