The dismal morning started today with cold rain as I left home, late for work. I detest rushing to catch the train/metro/bus where commuters are packed to within an inch of their breathing space. But I cheered up when I succeeded in hopping on the metro just before the doors closed. I considered this a good omen, which was followed by another when I got a seat on the train. Two for two. Then on the final leg of my journey, a short bus ride from the train station to the office, I arrived at the gate just as a bus was pulling in. I slid into an aisle seat near the exit and breathed a sigh of satisfaction at the wonderful day about to start.

Then suddenly I heard sobbing beside me. The girl next to me was slumped against the window and crying her heart out. Her flow of tears dripped down the glass like the steady rain outside. She had her face turned away from me and I had no intention of intruding on her grief. Had her dog died? Or a loved one? Had her lover dumped her? What should I do? While I mulled over these questions, she wept on as if her heart were shattering into a million pieces. I was miserable for this stranger, sitting so close to her and yet unable to offer any comfort or sympathy.

So I did the next best cowardly thing. I waited to get to my stop, and just before I hopped from my seat and out the door, I pressed a package of tissues into her hand and disappeared.

Could it have been a broken heart? How I wish I could tell her, “This too, shall pass.”

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