It was a mantra that kept cycling through his head: It's none of my business, it's none of my business, it's none of my business...
Matt put his head down and suddenly became fascinated with his ipod. He stabbed at the click wheel in search of a song that might overpower this girl's presence but his eyes continued to glance at her through his lashes to spite him. He grimaced and turned up the volume.
She was slender and fluid, as if she sat silently immobile while still sprinting toward something she couldn't see. She spoke to no one and made no eye contact, but occasionally her shoulders shuddered with sobs. There was an air of hopelessness that surrounded her, as if turbulent thunderheads hung only above her head while everyone else remained in the sun.
Matt grimaced and turned up the volume some more.
He played three games of Solitaire but had no recollection of any of his moves; he couldn't take his eyes from the upset girl's neck. It was long and delicate. Once or twice she guided her hair behind her ear and he looked at that for a while.
Damn it. He tried the volume again, but it was up as high as it would go and he would go deaf before the music had a chance to distract him from the girl. He returned the volume to a tolerable level and reached into his duffel for his Kindle. He chose a book that he hadn't yet read and was interested in the first six pages. But he heard the girl sniffle once, softly, despite his earbuds, and the story was instantly forgotten.
He convinced his eyes to wander out the window, and he stared at the passing scenery in a blur. In reality he was trying to pick out the girl's reflection from the other passengers' in the glass.
He shook his head and put away the Kindle, glanced at her as he did so. He had never crushed a girl before, they were usually the ones fawning over him. Besides, he had barely seen her face so it wasn't a physical attraction.
But something pulled him toward her. He couldn't explain it, but there was an evanescent and ethereal connection to this girl he did not know and did not recognize.
But he felt it -- as real and as solid as any stone wall.
Matt sat there and scowled as he watched the lone girl cry to herself. Nobody helped her, nobody talked to her.
Damn it! He plucked the earbuds from his ears and jammed them into his jacket pocket with his ipod. He then stretched and yawned, then stood (carefully, can't trust those early-morning legs) and slid out into the aisle. She was only thirty feet in front of him, and it took but eight strides to reach her. But as he stood at her back, just behind her, he could almost see her face, almost place the light scent of her hair, almost feel her despair.
What the hell did he plan to say to her?