Brooklyn, New York 2:58 p.m.
It was the ocean. Rolling gray clouds drifted by in the wind, and blades of grass swayed with hints of frost at the tips. I stood on the edge of a cliff, looking down and seeing everything. Waves pounded and threw themselves against the jagged rocks at the bottom. The sound was something I would never forget. It was a battle that would go on forever.
The roaring of the subway brought me back to reality. I blinked the image away, but it seemed to be stuck in my mind. I'd dreamt about it last night. It felt so real that I thought it was, right up until the moment I woke up. All of my dreams had been like that recently, just places I had never been to, things I had never seen.
My hair blew across my face as the underground train rushed past and disappeared into the dark tunnel. I had roughly two minutes before the next train would arrive. A few people were waiting along the platform beside me, but it was too early for the rush hour crowd, and not many used the subway at three o’clock in the afternoon.
I liked it that way. Small spaces with multiple people wasn’t to my liking.
The brisk October air sent shivers up my arms as it seemed to wrap itself around me. I pulled my hood up to protect my exposed neck from the cold and shifted my weight to my right foot. My hair was relatively short for a girl, but it was styled the way I liked it. I would just have to wear hoods more often.
I pulled out my black earbuds and stuffed them into my ears, wanting to drown out the echoing sounds of the trains and people, and replaced them with the soothing sound of Snow Patrol. I closed my eyes and pictured the cliffs again, imagining myself there. It almost felt as if I was there, too.
Like I could take a single step and just be there. My stomach stirred.
A rush of wind wafted past, and I opened my eyes to find the train coming to a stop before me. Windows flashed by until there was just a door that slid open a moment later. A few people stepped out, and I made my way into the nearly empty subway car. It lurched forward as I took a seat near the door and placed my book bag on my lap. The seat was pressing uncomfortably into my back, and the temperature was just a little warmer than outside.
I was about to close my eyes and drift off until my stop came, but I noticed the boy across from me, three seats down. He was looking the other way, absently fingering a messenger bag on his lap, and staring at something that wasn’t there. A dark jacket covered his gray hoodie, and the hood was pulled up over his head, just the same as mine. My eyes traveled to his shoes, and saw that they were well worn pair dirty Chucks.
I felt odd staring at a complete stranger, but I couldn’t help it. His dark hair hugged his face like a perfect mop, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his eyes. My heart sped unexpectedly.
A man walked by, and I blinked in surprise when my sight was cut off for those few seconds. I stared straight ahead again. I focused on my music and thought about nothing, watching the tunnel lights blink past the window. I had only been riding the subway for the past few weeks, ever since school started, but I was beginning to find it less horrible than I had thought.
My eyes trailed to my left again, and I twitched when I saw that he was staring at me. Not staring, but looking. And in the subway, there was a big difference between the two. The sad thing was, I got very little attention from boys, if any at all, and the thought was even pathetic in my mind.
His dark eyes held no aggression, and they certainly weren’t hostile, unlike I had imagined other people on here that might’ve been. My mom had told me horror stories before we decided I would be riding the subway, and they seemed stuck inside my head. I still had a pepper spray for emergencies, and I never went anywhere without it.
It was awkward holding his steady gaze, so I looked away, trying to keep my heart at a calm rhythm. I stared at the floor and pretended nothing had happened. I still felt his eyes on me, but when I stole a glance, he was looking away. My heart dropped for some odd reason. Maybe it was because someone was actually taking interest in me for once. I had never had a guy look at me that way before.