Movement Ten

Her face floating behind and between bodies crowded on the Underground. She wipes it with the back of her hand.

I remember the woman sat opposite me on the train, her eyes two pink topaz stones. She sniffs, shuffles a stack of papers, glances at them, then looks away.

Four boys heading to Stockport on the same train swear and jeer each other. They sound ugly.

I think about offering the woman a cup of tea but then decide against. Let her sadness and grief be private. Let me keep my awkwardness to myself.

The crowd on the Underground coach has thinned out and I will be walking past the woman on my way to the doors. I decide to ask her if she’s OK as I’m about to disembark.

“Oh yes, I’m fine,” she grins. “I cry all the time!”

Her posture softens, head tilts. “But thank you.”

I think about them both as I’m walking down Holloway Road, fighting back tears, wondering what shade of pink my eyes are.