With working in this new unit, I don’t get out of the office as quickly as I once did. So I have been getting a train home on the same line my ex-husband takes, assuming he still lives in the same city I last knew him to live in.
I basically keep my head in a book; I would be on the train before him, so he could see and avoid me. I give him the chance to do that by not gazing around the train.
Tonight I was sitting in the first row of seats, with the handicapped seats immediately in front of me, perpendicular against my knees. An older woman with a cane was sitting there until a couple of stops before mine. Then a guy sat down.
A little bit before my stop, I put my book away. And looked at the guy.
Unlike a couple of years ago, when I very definitely saw my ex on the platform, I’m not entirely sure about this guy. He was playing on his phone and did not look up (which is what my ex-husband did on the platform that other time). He was heavier than my ex, but I haven’t seen said ex close up in ten years. I was trying to see his earlobe, which would bear the faint scar of a piercing, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t see if he had a wedding ring on. I was thinking, “I think D’s nostrils flare a little more than that… but this guy can’t grow much facial hair, which would fit…his hand on his knee. Does that hand look familiar? Is it weird that I was married to someone and I’m having a hard time telling if this guy is him or not? If he were wearing shorts I’d see the scars [from his ill-fated adolescent jump into a river full of rocks], but no…”
His eyes, in profile, were exactly like my ex’s, which was enough to make me uneasy. I got up before the train stopped at my station and I did not look back.
It felt weird, both because I practically had my knees jammed up against a guy who may have once been my husband, and because I could not quite tell if it were him.
The one convincing argument that it wasn’t is that he sat down almost on my lap. I don’t look that different — heavier, but essentially the same. And I have red hair, glasses, and a way-too-big chest — people do tend to remember me, for better or worse.
Home safe now though. And only one more work day this week! Hallelujah!