There was a man once.
I saw him on the subway. I wouldn't say that we met, but there was something in his eyes. A wanting, almost. We kept eye contact for what seemed like ages. I was a scared young woman then. Who was he, why was he looking?
Those blue eyes, his intense gaze. I would think that he wanted something. It was a look of want. I'm not saying that I know people well, but that look in his eyes was pure, untainted want. His lips, raised in a smile. Or was it a smirk? I looked away.
I got up when the train was minutes away from the station. It was something I always did: get up and stand by the railing so it would be easier to get off. My hands were shaking slightly, my wedding and engagement ring bumping against the cold metal. He got behind me, holding the same railing. Our fingers millimetres apart.
I could feel his warm breath on the back of my head, steady. Breathe in, breathe out.
When I got off, he followed me. I saw him follow me, and watched as his searching eyes panned across the station.
He didn't find me.
That was months ago. But it wasn't the last that I'd seen of him. Here in New York, the city never sleeps. People milling about, you'll always bump into someone again, whether it's a day later or years past.
He gazed at me again, and this time, I gazed back.
There was something different about him. He looked tattered. Broken, almost. As though everything in his world meant nothing anymore. The same man, but different.
I got up and stood next to the railing. My warm hands, my engagement ring clinking against the metal rail. Just my engagement ring this time. I looked back at the man.
He hadn't moved. Just sat there, broken, with his empty gaze. The want that once filled his eyes were no more, like a candle snuffed out in the dark.