On a not-so-crowded train. She is the only one standing. Back pressed against the only space that is neither seat nor door. Light brown curly but wiry hair, clear open face, same colour eyes (my best guess as far as I can see), all fully engrossed and engaged.
The bumps and lurches of the train don’t bother her. She just doesn’t lose balance. She sways slightly to the rhythm of the carriage. She is not dancing though. Perhaps inwardly.
Her head is bowed. As if in prayer or contemplation. And her forehead is smooth. Her face serene. And I watch to see if she will raise her head. It’s not just to look at her face. For I’m curious as to her quiet calm and innate peace. Now she is even more fully engrossed and engaged. With her hands held up in front of her.
Not a newspaper. Not a smart phone. Not a magazine. Not even one of those slate-sized flickering whispering mini TVs.
For a second, time stops and everything around her is removed. So much so that I stop and wonder and look again. Yes, now I know what it is. It’s like she’s behind a lectern. She’s reading. A tattered dog-eared hardback with yellow threads fraying the red cover. No title that I can see.
I wait to see if she’ll read what holds her so aloud.
For the last person that held out a book like that let me read it.
And I wanted to read it aloud : it was that good…a children’s book too…
Perhaps I’m waiting for the sequel.