Early yesterday morning, as you boarded the train to campus, you sat beside a young man engrossed in a book. The man was relatively good looking by conventional standards, with the exception of his Adidas track pants. “Must be laundry day,” you thought to yourself hopefully.
After several minutes of silence, the man closed his book and turned to you. “Do I know you?” the man asked, looking at you intently. Removing an earbud, you responded. “No, I don’t think so,” you said, glancing up and smiling briefly before returning to your game of 2048.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you had your headphones in,” the man said, picking up on your introverted expression and body language. “That probably means you’re not interested in having a conversation, which I totally respect, so I’ll just leave you be.”
Upon realizing that your attention was already invested in your mobile device, the man returned to reading his book for the remainder of the train ride.
The train coasted along smoothly. Looking out the window, you noticed that the sky was a little bit clearer than it had been the past few days.
“So . . . how’s it going?” the man did not ask a few moments after your exchange. Instead, he read his book quietly.
You wondered silently if you had remembered to turn off the stove earlier that morning. Reliving your actions of the past few hours, you came to the conclusion that you had, in fact, remembered to turn off the stove. You returned to your game.
“Where you headed?” the man did not think to ask after you had passed several stops in silence.
Someone at the other end of the car chattered away loudly on their phone. You quietly revelled in the victory of finally achieving a 1,024 tile.
“I’ve been loving this weather recently,” are words which did not escape the man’s lips. “Soon you won’t be needing this,” he did not add as he did not pat your winter jacket as if he was an old friend and that that was a totally acceptable violation of a stranger’s personal space.
Upon arriving at his stop, the man stood up and exited the train without saying goodbye or acknowledging you, as the two of you had not actually been acquainted and the insignificant interaction you had shared minutes before did not warrant a relationship, which the man recognized.
The name of the man is unknown, as he did not tell you, assuming correctly that you had no interest in learning it.
You ultimately did not end up winning your game of 2048, but did manage to beat your previous high score of 16,184.
You later found out that you had not actually remembered to turn off the stove as you had thought, but luckily your roommate was home and had turned it off for you before any damage happened.