A forgotten February

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It had been almost five weeks since they had last met. 35 days to be exact, but who was counting. He had entered her life suddenly, and without warning. A time during which she was despondent at times, but mostly just going through the motions with not much concern about how each day seemed to blur into the next. He had been nothing out of the ordinary. She had glanced at him once and looked away, making nothing of it. Their conversation lasted five minutes at most. He had been well versed, sweet yet polite, but he was the kind of person who didn’t really leave a lasting impression. The second conversation had been different. He had been charming, and she noticed the way his eyes creased so noticeably in the corners whenever he smiled. He smiled a lot, and she couldn’t help but smile with him. It was his kind eyes that she remembered most.

Maybe meeting him has just been another little reminder. A beautifully tragic moment of happiness shared with a stranger who lived oceans apart. Bringing back to life the dreamer in her she had so casually cast away.

Nadia Nawaz

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Slowly drifting

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The need to re-connect seemed to evaporate from her, slowly but surely. All she had ever wanted was to keep him close, ensure he stayed a part of her life no matter what happened. People had always been her weakness. The inability to let them go and her efforts to mend friendships always cost her, but she somehow remained persistent.
He confused her though. With each of his casual silences he unknowingly broke a tiny part of her slowing chipping away at her resolve. She felt their connection fading and though it pained her, she knew it was a choice he must have made a long time ago..

nadia nawaz

Going through the motions

She looks at her reflection in the darkened window of the bus, the fluorescent lights illuminating part of her face, keeping the other half hidden in shadows. Her eyes look tired and zoned out. Even to herself she appears grim and solemn. The bus slogs along with a rhythm, its engines creating a hollowed out sound, resonating throughout the interior. Not a soul speaks. The person beside her taps his toes to the beat of his music, content in his own little bubble, oblivious to the stares of others.

Sitting beside him, she’s aware of the odd smell coming from him; a mixture of coffee, cigarettes and aftershave, it seems oddly familiar yet strangely soothing. The smell makes her wonder-an overdose of caffeine and nicotine – maybe he isn’t so carefree after all. She passes her gaze over others standing and sitting around her, curious about who they might be. Slumped down low in her chair she slowly begins to feel the dull ache in her legs caused by standing throughout her entire journey.

Fatigue passes over her in waves and she rubs her eyes, keeping them glued to the darkened streets; a mere attempt at keeping herself awake. The narrow, deserted streets look eerily beautiful. The night so dark and mysterious, illuminated by the golden street lights looks strikingly mesmerizing.

During these long journeys’ she has the chance to think. Back tracking through her life, she eventually steers her thoughts to the present while keeping her eyes on the road.

The darkened streets help her dream. She tries not to focus on her present troubles. As she dreams she smiles to herself; her face a mask of imperfection, her mind far far away as the bus continues to move amid the rattling of the windows, the roar of the wind outside, the beat of the strange man’s music and the muffled hum of the engine.

Strangers…

7.30 a.m:
The only distinguishable sound around me is the thud of hundreds of footsteps, entirely out of sync.Each sound is lost amongst the echo of their collective patter,resounding off the walls of the tunnel. Muffled voices are carried through the dingy passageway, illuminated with fluorescent lighting overhead.

A sea of faces with un-seeing eyes pass over me-Seeing, yet unaware of their surroundings-Registering the thousands of faces around them,devoid of all emotion,they seem transfixed and lost within the circumference of their own captivating little world consisting of hundreds of thoughts.

Every face I pass is different,yet collectively they all look the same; with that detached  vacant glare and eyes which pierce mine. A solemn glance across my face,registering my presence,reading there nothing.

The aloofness which surrounds me is chilling but at the same time welcoming;providing me the opportunity to think. Every stranger who walks past holds within their hearts an untold story, going their separate ways, with a destination only they can see.

We stand so close yet our thoughts are worlds apart. The lack of space causes everyone to merge together,all caged in,clinging to the over hanging bars and long tube handles as landscapes around us change and the world outside moves past in a whirl of green and black. Yet inside, time seems to be at a stand still.The train feels devoid of all emotion as I stand there,amidst the scuttle of feet,the brush of arms and legs against one another and the pressured wind passing by.We move across the tunnel as one.

The train comes to a stop;the doors open. The announcer’s voice seems muffled by the rush of feet all scurrying out as the doors bang shut and the train whips past.Somewhere along that long passageway between platforms stands a solitary cheerful being. He seems at peace, happily playing his guitar while singing to passerby’s as he tries to brighten the atmosphere. He goes on playing unaware; with his hat laid out before him on the floor he tries his best to earn a living.In the early morning rush,his efforts seems wasted, as people scurry along; the hum of voices never diminishing.

Day after day I travel,observing yet completely silent. Returning the odd smile here and there and meeting those vacant gentle glances,often wondering what might be going on behind that facade of steel held up so well,only to hide the emotions and demons which rage within.

As I journey on, from platform to platform passing a myriad of machine like beings following the same set path along the underground trains I cant help but wonder.
Are human beings slowly becoming more robotic, shielding themselves against everything, becoming better and better at holding up that steel armor and shutting out the world.

We are all just strangers, brushing past one another on that long journey which lies ahead…