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Morning Commute

There was no doubt about it, it felt wrong. Like he was wearing his two left shoes, both of which were a size too small. Forget the shoe thing, it was much worse than shoes. Every Monday through Friday morning since he’d moved here six months ago he’d seen her. He was a creature of habit – a coffee and croissant at the corner bakery, a free newspaper from the steps of the house next to the bakery (though he wasn’t quite sure why he took the newspaper, it remained folded under his left arm until he threw it in the trash outside of his office), the 8:27 train from Franklin Street, the 18 minute ride to the corner of 4th and Liberty, the 7 minute walk to the office, the throwing away of the newspaper, leaving him 8 minutes to boot up his computer, and of those 8 minutes, at least 4 were devoted to staring at his screen and thinking about her. Where was she? She always took the 8:27 train from Franklin Street. Coming upon 200 days now. Always. At first he thought he was being ridiculous, why should he expect her to take the same train every morning of every week? It’s not fair to box such a woman into that kind of routine. No, someone that glowing, that brought that much radiance into a place as bleak as the morning train, she deserved better. But he thought she had been like him – a creature of habit – that was the thing he was most drawn to. She took the same train as him, every day like him, yet look how much she enjoyed her music! How she smiled while reading her books and magazines, even sometimes daring to laugh into the hostile morning silence! Yes, she surely deserved better, and she had finally realized it. And the replacement sitting in her seat, he didn’t even want to start making comparisons because he knew, though his day, and possibly his week, was already ruined, he knew it could get worse. Now all that was left to do was figure out how to find her. He couldn’t live without her. He definitely couldn’t live without her. He would have to live without her. She was gone. He hated the train. 17 minutes and he couldn’t wait to leave the stale, unfriendly air behind. She was the only thing that had made it bearable, he was going to have to buy a bike. He was already standing waiting on the 18th minute to finally arrive when he caught a glimpse of yellow on the right, another painful reminder of his gaping loss. He had to satisfy the urge to look, there was no getting around it. It was her. There she was. Standing at the wrong door. Waiting to get out. He couldn’t believe it. The doors opened and he stepped out, as always just to the left of the…the wrong car, he was in the wrong car. He smiled as he thought about tomorrow’s ride to work.

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