They enter and have sat separately on opposing sides of the aisle, yet clearly they are together. He is taller than she. He wears a beige ball cap on top of his shaved skull advertising NYC – likely bought on 34th and 7th. She carries a light duffel over her right shoulder atop a grey sweatshirt and wears tiny red sneakers. Her manner is thoughtfully efficient and I suppose this is by intent. Once situated, she adjusts her dark glasses and readjusts her short raven black hair.
She is upset.
If this is seen at all by the man now seated in the opposite aisle wearing what appears to be a kasaya type robe, it is only by the windows reflection as he stoically stares out.
The miles pass as the Eastbound accelerates onward and with each passing minute with less tasks to attend to, her frustration builds. He meanwhile continues to nonchalantly stare out his window.
By the third stop with the car filling up, she looks sharply his way, slowly back up to the ceiling, then quickly grabs her duffel and takes the seat next to him.
His head adjusts slightly left to avoid the peripheral and stares absently upon an unseen passing land.
After a long spell she leans in and begins to speak in his direction. I surmise her words are of some northern Mandarin dialect, of which I understand little but on occasion, have pretended to speak with fluency. It is now more the inflection of her voice, her turn of the shoulders and gestures of the hands that assist my observation and summarizes my deductions.
She speaks in the measured tone of one thoughtful, sympathetic and while apologetic, quite practiced at driving her point home.
I am impressed.
He is respectful not to ignore her and neither raises a hand to stop nor refuse his ear. He nods often and when he shakes his head and stares left out the window murmuring words I cannot hear in a language foreign, she pauses for reflection.
Back and forth does this transpire that I am unaware of several voice mails missed. When I have looked back, he has turned to her and his eyes are moist with emotion. She reaches to his hand and when clasped, he leans in and they warmly embrace as the train slowly pulls into the station.
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