Peak hour

The muscle in her jaw tightened and then became slack in a strange pattern. Tight, slack. Tight, tighter, slack. Tight, slack. Tight, tight, slack. Her eyes skipped as they briefly grabbed the images of things that the train raced past. Apart from these small movements, she was still.

He’d missed the first train that, running fast enough to reach the closed doors in time to slap them as the train pulled out of the station. When the next arrived, there was only one seat available, and he moved quickly to beat the other two men who approached it.

When he threw himself into the seat, he bumped against the woman who gasped and jumped. He gasped and jumped in response, then both looked at each other and laughed awkwardly.

She returned her gaze to the window. He opened his paper.

 

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