I boarded a half-empty uptown train car at 18th Street. It was a little after 1 AM. I sat down, and I saw her. She was on a facing bench farther up the car. I pulled out my novel and, pretending to concentrate on it, even making notes in it, I sneaked glances at her. Twice when I looked up, she was already looking at me. Both times, my heart shot adrenaline through my arms and thighs in the moment before she looked away.
True to form, Emily was wearing hoop earrings that are too big for her face and make her look like a slightly older Hispanic woman. Still, I might have gone to bed unsure the woman was she if I hadn't seen the way she filled out her grey polyester slacks as she got up and walked to the train door. Ass and thighs like ripe fruit, stretching the fabric taut. The pantlegs hung short and loose from above the knee. She would tuck her old teddy bear under the sheets when I knew her, but man, she was so grown up.
She used the nearest door that was in my direction, also in the direction of her station exit. She did not look at me from the platform. So, I didn't know what she thought about me, but I knew she was still in New York. And she didn't have a ring on either hand.
At home, six stations past hers, I caught myself in a fantasy conversation with Emily. Shit. I wished I had mustered the courage to talk to her on the train. I resolved to call her on Wednesday, but she's not in the phone book. She doesn't even register on Google.