Friday, April 21, 2006

Last tram home

She jumped on and looked around distractedly. Her jumper caught my eye: several runs in the knitting. As she plonked down opposite, I scanned her: one or two years older than me, handbag, shoes: not otherwise scruffy. Closer inspection identified the runs as artfully placed fakes.

She stared forward, away from me. Running her hands through her short hair, the skin on her neck flushed. That's when I noticed the shakes. She scrabbled through her bag and produced a tissue, surreptitiously dabbing at her eyes.

We sat for 2 stops. She crying, me deciding.

"Can I do anything to help? Are you OK?"

Surprised eyes turned my way. "No, it's OK, I'm... I haven't been myself lately. I can't... Don't worry."

"Do you need someone to talk to?"

"No, I believe in action rather than words."

"As long as you know which action to take."

Brief smile at this. "Yes." Looks away again.

Oh God, what action was she referring to? I pull the cord for the stop. "I hope you can find a positive way out."

"Yes, I hope so."

And off into the night.

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