Short Story

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Morgan SeilerHe sat on the hard plastic seat belonging to one of the city’s many subway trains. The plastic had been scratched into and drawn on, but he could hardly feel sorry for the violation of the poor seat. After all, like so many public seats, it seemed as though made to keep you in the most uncomfortable of positions- not quite slouching but noat quite sitting straight either.
He turned, leaning one shoulder against the wall so he could press his forehead against the plastic window and watch the world flash by. He was surrounded by people. They were pushing against him, sharing his air, waiting just as he was. Yet his shoulders pressing against the bodies of those who sat beside him was the only contact they shared. Drowning in bodies, each is all alone.
They dream their own dreams, live in their own worlds, and have their own agendas, each with a story. And just for one moment, the threads of their lives cross and they end up in a train car together, but only for that slight pause of silence before they dash off to continue chasing their fate.
He couldn’t help but wonder if he was meant to know some of the people that stood or sat around him right now, gazing off blankly as they waited for the train to reach its next stop.
He couldn’t help wondering that perhaps if he knew even one of these people, it might change his life drastically. A future best friend could be two seats down, his soul mate just a foot away, and he would never know.
The train suddenly began to slow down and the crowd around him began to feel so very oppressive. It was apparently a popular stop because the crowd began to drain away through the whir of automatic doors, in a half second of polite pushing and ‘Ëœexcuse me’s. He wanted to get up and call out¦“Wait! Don’t go, I want to know you!…but he didn’t.
Instead, he watched as the bodies which had had faces just a moment ago, faded into a crowd. The doors slid shut. If the filled seats were oppressive, then the empty ones were simply depressing.
He turned forward in his seat, and looked around at the remaining people. He wished he could wake them out of their stupor. All of them, just sitting and waiting in silence. Instead, he contented himself with watching and trying to memorize each detail of each person that he would never see again.
There was a girl sitting alone in an empty row, turned slightly sideways with her forehead pressed up against the window. Graffiti from what appeared to be key scratches lay just below her nose, but she didn’t seem to notice. In silence, she was watching the world flash by.
He stood up and crossed over the empty space between them, taking a seat next to her. She turned to stare at him, but perhaps with curiosity as opposed to surprise.
And that, that was enough.

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