he drummed his fingers nervously on the bench as the train screeched metal grinding on metal around the sharp turn into the station. to his left, a small boy played with a robot action figure, its head spinning wildly and its arms moving up and down as the boy pressed buttons on the toy's back. toys didn't look like that when he was growng up. he didn't get toys like that.
standing before him a man and a woman stared into each other's eyes. he was wearing a flowered shirt, wrinkled, and ill-fitting pants. he was over-weight. the woman was a head taller than he, wearing a tight dress, her hair hanging loosely around her face. the smiled at each other and began dancing. first, he led. they spun around the station until he tripped. they giggled and exchanged roles.
she's not coming.
the train doors opened and the last of the evening's commuters, tired and weary, stepped down the stairs into the station. one, in a suit and a tie that he had kept, despite his wife's insistence that he give it away, stopped and paused watched the couple dancing in the crowd. nobody else seemed to notice. he wondered if the florist was still open.
the train doors slid closed and the station was quiet again. the boy and his robot had been swept away by their mother. the man on the bench rose and walked slowly toward the exit, pushing the gate open and hearing it slam shut behind him. he stepped out into the cool autumn air, turned up his coat collar and walked home.
she checked her watch. she was late, again.
in the station, they looked into each other's eyes, dancing a silent waltz playing somewhere beneath the city.