Mehak Sharma

Cannon Writer

 

There’s someone sitting across the aisle from me on the subway.

We’ve made eye contact a couple of times, and the squint in his eyes tells me he is smiling at me.

It’s funny how we’ve learnt to identify someone’s expressions and communicate through just the eyes. Perhaps eyes are all we need to be able to communicate.

So that’s what I do, I smile as wide as I can from under my mask; my nose scrunches a bit and my eyes crease, smiling upside-down in reciprocation.

And that’s all it is, just a wordless conversation. If it weren’t for the borders created by masks and traveling passengers, I would’ve sat next to him and talked some more.

But instead we silently wait as the train stops at each station, wondering if the other would get up to leave or not. Every time the doors close, and we are still across from one another, our eyes find each other and react familiarly.

I feel like I’d hear great stories from him, if only one of us started the conversation. Strangers have often spoken with me on these long subway rides. My friends say I have a comfortable aura. I’d like to believe that.

And I’d really like to talk to this stranger too, but just as I am building the courage to take the first seemingly gigantic step, he takes one instead and stands up. He slowly makes his way to the doors, and as they open, the elderly gentleman who reminds me greatly of my grandfather, gives me one last look, and waves goodbye.

And with that our silent journey comes to an end.

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