Mar 28 2009
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Lili and Jane stood, crushed between the doors of a downtown 2 train and tired commuters on their way home. Lili leaned against a door, rubbing her aching shoulders. She tilted her head back against the door’s glass window and drifted off to sleep a little bit, calmed by the rocking movement of the train. To a native New Yorker like her, it was as good as a lullaby. The train pulled up to a sudden stop mid-tunnel, sending the horde of commuters smashing into the two women. Jane looked up through the window, and dropped her magazine.
"Sweet minty Jesus!"
Lili jumped up, her eyes wide, and turned around to see what had made Jane yell out. She could see nothing in the tunnel but another train full of tired people, waiting to get into the next station. She poked her friend viciously in the shoulder.
"What the hell is wrong with you? Is there something out there in the tunnel?" Lili stared at Jane, whose pale face stared out at the other train, her blue eyes wide and her mouth open. Putting her hand on Jane’s shoulder, she asked her, "Are you alright, Jane?"
Jane turned slowly towards her best friend, her blue eyes bright with emotion. She bent down towards Lili.
She whispered, "Look at the other train." Lili looked and again saw nothing.
"What am I looking for?"
"By the center pole, see that guy in the lavender shirt?" Lili squinted, searching the crowd in the adjacent train. Then her eyes landed on him. He looked like all of the other Dockers-clad masses.
"You mean the banker guy? What about him?" Lili honestly didn’t think he was anything to stand up and shout about, much less during rush hour. From where she was standing she could see that he was about average height, with sandy blond hair cut in a middling length. He leaned against the train pole, his briefcase in one hand and a magazine in the other.
Jane let out a long sigh, staring out into the other train compartment, then said, "He’s it. The One."
Lili stared at her friend, and then back at lavender shirt guy. "Oh is that all? You didn’t have to wake me up from my nap for that," she said as she turned back around to lean on the door. "Wake me up when we get to the next stop."
Jane screeched, "Lilibeth!" Several businessmen standing next to her moved away from her, gingerly edging to the farther door. "I mean it! I know that he’s it!"
Lili opened one brown eye. "Like Daniel, the polygamist? Or back in high school, Michael? I heard he and his partner just had a lovely ceremony in Vermont. Let me go back to sleep."
There was another sudden gasp from Jane. "What is it this time?" There was no answer from her friend, who was transfixed in front of the window. Lilibeth turned around. There was lavender shirt staring right back at Jane. "Well, I’ll be damned."
With a sudden lurch the train started moving again. Jane pushed herself frantically against the door. "Oh please let him be on the track across from ours. Oh please, please." The train pulled into the station, seconds ahead of another one in the opposite track. As soon as the doors opened Jane was out, pulling Lili along with her.
"Jane! What is wrong with you, ooph!" Her words were cut off as she careened into something very hard behind her. Or rather, someone. Strong hands, held her up and stopped her freefall onto the floor. Lilibeth looked up into a pair of very dark blue eyes.
He smiled. The corners of his eyes crinkled just slightly, and Lili felt all sorts of inner workings go very warm. "Are you okay?" He asked.
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