Forty-five Second Metro Crush

She walked down the aisle, passing me, to get off the train at Metro Center, her long brownish skirt flowing around her every step. For a moment, our eyes met,then we were both distracted by the not-quite-dapper young men horsing around by launching themselves out the open door and onto the platform.

She stepped out quickly after them.

And then, before the door chimes could sound, she stepped back in and scurried, never looking up, to the seat across the aisle from me.

Shuffling through her large, faded, denim handbag, she extracted a plastic covered library book. Blazoned across the top, white letters on a field of orange, it said “ASIMOV”.

She held the book barely open, intently scanning the words on the steeply angled pages, her plain brown hair swinging with the motion of the train. I resisted the urge to ask which of Asimov’s books it was.

For a bookmark, she used a post card flier from some campus action network. That told me adds were high she was most likely considerably younger than me. While her style and the way she carried herself hinted at a promise of some common ground, it was not enough to move me to strike up a conversation.
I noticed that the book was “Foundation”.

As the train stopped at Gallery Place, she quickly packed the book back into her bag and got up. When she paused for a moment, not wanting to repeat her last mistake, I called out “Fantastic book!” and gave the ever-so-corny “thumbs up” sign.

She quickly looked at me as she left the train. I smiled. She looked confused… and then was gone, the door closing behind her.

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