~First, Man’s point of view~
I squint as the sun peeks from behind the clouds, repositioning my head to be in the shadow of another passenger. My briefcase rests on my lap, and I could feel the sweat from my legs slowly pooling beneath it. I watch the fabric of my pants slowly darken. A small sigh escapes my lips as I rest my head on the window behind me.
The train moves along, the number of stations counting down ever so slowly. In the ten years of my being a salaryman, I don’t think it’s ever taken this long to get home. Unless…
“Not again…” I sigh as I stand up, mentally berating myself. A few curse words silently escape my mouth. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve missed my stop, but it’s the first time I’ve mistakenly traveled this far. I wince, realizing the depressing distance away from my humble apartment I now was. After a few simple calculations, I hiss in disapproval. At least 7 miles away from home, and it takes the average person fifteen to twenty minutes to walk a mile. Seventeen times seven… One-hundred-nineteen minutes… Nearly two hours of walking.
I’m sure I can handle it.
I take a deep breath as I step into the station, following the swarm of people exiting the train car through the small double doors. As I look around I see a crowd of people, their faces blank. Unfocused eyes wander aimlessly as they walk forward with pale, colorless faces and stiff postures, almost seeming not human. It’s hard to understand that their lives – that every person walking by – has a life that’s as complex as my own. Even though they all appear dead to the world and void of thought or emotion, logic tells me they have a life similar to mine. Each has a family, childhood memories, and love interests – every normal thing that I’ve had or have. And like me, most of them live the same day over and over. Wake up. Shower. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. To me, it seems like they live by a Wikihow on how to become a zombie.
My thoughts are interrupted by a flash of color. I look in time to see a small woman cross in front of me carrying with her a faint floral aroma, her lavender hair gracefully flowing behind her. I watch her walk away as she made her way through the crowd, a small suitcase in tow. She’s glowing, an almost ethereal beauty to her. I’m surprised by my feet moving without me telling them to. I follow her out of the terminal, entranced. I urge myself to stop, but I just can’t.
What do I do?
I follow her, admiring her every feature from behind. Haloed by the setting sun she’s as beautiful as a painting, each detail etching into my mind. The only unpleasant feature was the sound of the wheels of her suitcase as they scraped along the stone slabs of the sidewalk. But her beauty made it easy to look past the irksome sound, her hair blowing in the wind and her elegant posture showing her slim figure.
My pace slows, and the distance between us stretches. My eyes scan the same pavement she had walked upon moments ago, self-doubt flooding my mind. How would she see me? I am the epitome of the word, “average”. A 28-year-old man, plain looking, with a standard paying job no redeeming qualities to set me apart. I shake my head from side to side, hoping to rid myself of these thoughts. Looking up, I return back to my original pace.
Where is she?
My eyes scan my surroundings, but she’s nowhere to be seen. I continue to look, hoping to see a glimpse of purple or hear the now familiar scrape of her suitcase. I can’t believe I let her out of my sight. For all I know, she could have been “the one.” I know it’s cheesy, but there was something different about her. She looked so alive compared to the zombies at the terminal, a blooming rose amidst a garden of weeds. Deciding it was for the best, I continue on my journey. However, despite my justifications, I can’t stop an overwhelming sadness from growing in my chest, its thorns tearing my heart. a little less pep in my step.
I had lost her, my diamond in the rough.