The train doors part and streams of people hurriedly shoved their way inside. The warning bell rang as everyone tried to get proper seats, settling themselves down. As the train started speeding up, I focused back on my book and continued reading.
“We are afraid.
Our educational system
tells us that we
can all be big-ass winners.”
It was then that I noticed her, sitting right across me. Nothing about her tickles my memory, a stranger, I was quite sure. But there’s something about the dullness of her eyes that seemed familiar. The uneasy way she shifts in her seat, desperately hiding herself—not wanting to be seen.
I tried to ignore her.
It was then that I catch a glimpse of crimson partially hidden by her sleeve. She saw me looking, and right in that moment, her terrified eyes revealed the very fear obscured from deep within her. She pulled down her sleeved harshly, covering the cuts and looked away.
But I already saw the part of her that she did not want seen. It all made sense to me. She was familiar because she is me. Well, who I used to be. The dead-beaten eyes, the solitude, the scared demeanor. She was the mirror of my old self. I may not know what was bothering her, but I know how lonely she feels. I know of the dreadful feeling of not being able to tell anyone of her problems. I may not know anything, but somehow I can relate. I tried to carry on with my reading.
“It hasn’t told us
about the gutters
or the suicides..”
I know of her urges to hurt herself just so she can feel alive. I know the feeling of relief in slicing one’s skin, of the gush of blood dripping from the cut. I know how desperate she feels. I know. Because I used to do that too. As I look at this girl, I recognize an empty soul slowly drifting away to nothingness. I want to pull her back and save her.
I want to tell her that I know. I want her to understand that even when she feels all alone, there will always be someone who can see her suffering. I want to stand up and sit next to her, hold her hand and tell her that I can see right through her sadness. I yearn for her to be saved from the darkness that’s slowly engulfing her very existence.
”..or the terror of one person
aching in one place
The train went to a halt and this was my stop. I stand up, walk toward the door. I turned my head to catch a last look at the girl who I once was. She was still sitting there, head bent down hands clutching the end of her sleeves. She looked so alone and fragile.
I went out. The doors closed.
I hated myself for walking away.