Hello and welcome to a writing Wednesday! Sorry this is so late in the day, I’ve just been busy. So, this is just like Mark I of TBOTS, but from the perspective of the girl with the skateboard, as Lucille described her. It’s the same day, the same time, the same city, and the same place, but from the girl with the skateboard’s perspective. Welcome to “The Boy on the Subway II”.
I wake up at five o’clock in the morning. It’s my natural alarm, or so the doctors say. I know it’s the medicine they give me for my cancer. Oh, i forgot to mention that, didn’t i? I was diagnosed with Leukemia when i was fifteen. I’m now eighteen and still in tenth grade, thanks to the surgery and chemotherapy and radiation i missed a lot of school. Good news, i beat it. I’m now in complete remission and taking tons of meds so it doesn’t come back. That is one thing in my life i would not want to repeat.
I sneak downstairs in a black shirt with my favorite band, Blue October, jeans, and a black leather jacket. I tie up my high-top sneakers and slide out the door, backpack, skateboard, and a bagel in hand. The sun is just starting to rise: my favorite time to skate. Because of the cancer, i lost a lot of weight and muscle. Im building it back up by skateboarding every morning until seven, when the subway that takes me to school gets to the station. I make my way to the skatepark, which is in a part of town no one likes to go to, one with homeless people, thugs, and bandits. For some unexplainable reason I’ve always felt safest here.
I skate for the hour and a half before i make my way to the station. There were only a few guys at the park and they left me alone. There’s never any girls there and it’s kind of annoying but its just something you have to let go. I get to the station fifteen minutes before the subway and make my way to the middle cars which seems to be where everyone is at the moment. I feel eyes boring into the side of my head, the side with the scar from a surgery, pity following soon after. I always feel the stares before i see the person doing it. I turn and meet the girls eyes.
She looks a little younger than i am. She has jet black hair, is wearing the uniform to that fancy film school in the area, and is death gripping the hand of a little boy who looks like he has special needs. I hate when people stare. It annoys me beyond annoyance; angers me beyond anger. Because it’s unnecessary. I don’t need anymore sorry. i had enough sorry from my parent and brothers and friends and school and doctors. I don’t need anymore of it.
I decide to take the only response i know in return to unwanted pity. I keep staring her straight in the eyes and lift my fist straight out in front of me. She stares at my fist as i lift the best finger I’ve got, the one i’ve used in hundreds of situations like this. Her face lights up, flushes, and she turns back to the empty subway tunnels. I stare at her for a second longer and think, think really hard, and i realize that i recognize this girl. Her dad is a famous film producer and she’s famous. i just flipped off one of the most well-known film producer’s daughter. I smile to myself as i walk to one of the first cars where there are fewer people in. Only about ten people are standing around me, all business-looking people, eyes glued to phones and newspapers and who knows what else. But then another sight catches my eye.
An elderly blind woman is walking towards our car from one farther up. And she’s walking dangerously close to the rails. She has her cane extended in front of her and it taps the edge of the platform. Before i know what I’m doing, my skateboard is on the floor and I’m running straight for her. I hit her hard and we tumble to the ground just as the subway whizzes past us. If she has taken one more step, she would’ve fallen in the path of the subway and died. Her gray hair and wrinkly skin, up close, does prove she’s in her late sixties. She yelps but quickly contains herself with a sigh.
“Walked too close again?” she asks, adjusting the sunglasses on her face.
“Yes, ma’am. Sorry to scare you. My name is Aspyn. What’s yours?” i ask.
“Bea,” she says and smiles. “I would shake your hand but, because of obvious circumstances, will not be able to find it.” A blind elderly woman who makes jokes about being blind. I like this girl. She laughs and i find myself laughing too.
“Can i help you up?” i ask.
“Yes please. And make sure i don’t fall off again, please.” She says. I smile to myself and help her up. I lead her into the subway car and sit next to her. We talk the whole way to my school and her workplace. When we get off of the subway car, a thought dawns on me. This woman, literally, blindly trusted me, a girl she doesn’t know and has never met before, with her life. And then another entirely selfish one: this woman will never know i look different. She will never shower me with “cancer pity” or stare holes into my head. She will treat me just like she treats every one else.
“I guess… I guess you have a good life,” i say, not knowing how else to end our conversation before I’m late for class.
“No, no no. You, Aspyn, are not getting out of this so easily. I expect to see – wrong choice of words – hear and feel you there tomorrow, doing your job of not letting me die,” she says in an old person way. I smile because i realize i just made a new friend.
“Yes ma’am,” i say back. “Well then, i quest i’ll see you tomorrow.” She doesn’t move and neither do it. It’s so weird, if that girl hadn’t of made me so angry, if she hand too been walking so close to the tracks, about to fall, none of this would’ve happened. We would’ve never met, never have made friends, and never see each other tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or for the next few years, who knows.
“Everything happens for a reason,” i say to myself. At least, i thought i did until she turns to me, smiles, and says,
“That it does.”
(Edit from future Sophie) Here is the link to The Boy On The Subway I: The Boy on the Subway I!
Thanks for reading and please like, comment any suggestions, feedback or questions below and follow for weekly posts! Come back next Wednesday for the same day, same time, same town, same place from the perspective of Daniel, Lucille’s down syndrome brother. Until next time,