Waiting on the platform for the 10:15
Aggie touches a hand to her hair
And checks her lipstick twice
She tries to read in vain, a novel somewhat comedic.
Words slip past. Sliding by her eyes, which are withdrawn and thoughtful.
So much can be hidden in the act of holding a book.
The pretense frees her mind and a smile plays across her mouth, lifting the corners slightly.
She removes a compact from the depth of her bag
and presses powder across her cheeks to dim the pink anticipation.
The time is 10:05. Ten more minutes.
Emotions skitter across her frame, chasing each other like puppies.
Aggie turns the page of the book she isn’t reading.
She can hear the rumble of the train in the distance and as she stands she smooths the creases from her skirt.
Her shoes are new and she hopes he notices.
A young woman has come out onto the platform.
She is holding the hand of a child who is jumping in place.
“Hush, the young woman says. “It’s coming.”
Nervous now, Aggie straightens her coat and pats her hair once more.
And as she does the young woman with the child looks over
and the two of them exchange a smile.
Others drift out onto the platform, bored or expectant.
Watches are wound. Books returned to bags. Hands are held or let go of.
The train thunders into view, a relief and a disappointment.
Metallic sounds shriek and hiss then stop and huff as though exhausted.
Doors sigh and stairs are lowered. Places are exchanged with those waiting.
Aggie sees him amidst the clouds of steam and her heart quickens.
He takes long strides down the platform toward her.
He smiles and she responds in spite of herself.
And as he moves beyond her and pulls the young woman and child into a firm embrace, the smile falters,
then withers, then dies.
Aggie lowers her gaze and lifts a hand to her hair.
And as she boards the train she scuffs her shoe.