When the train slows, then stops, I close the curtain--all but a slit, so I can peek out. From where I am sitting I mostly see the tops of people’s heads. They are getting off the train, hugging the relatives and friends who are there to pick them up.
I hold my breath.
Yeah. It’s him.
He’s pacing a wide circle, or I might never have noticed him. He’s not glancing up or down. He isn’t looking for me. He tilts his head and I realize that he has a phone against his ear. I sit up straighter. Is he talking to my father?
I leave my jeans on, switch to a soft pink tee that says “Geek
Magneto” under a loose, light jacket from the Salvation Army bin. It covers my lack of breasts and my battered knuckles. Then, once I am a girl again, I hurry.
I fall into step with a group of people headed his way and strain to hear his end of the phone conversation. I slow down as we get closer and fiddle with my jacket zip, my back toward him, then pretend to answer my own phone before I walk past. I catch seven words: “No. Not yet. But he’s here somewhere.”