Prompt: You’ve been able to read people’s thoughts since you were a child. But no one has ever talked back. Until now.
I hated the F train at night. Well, I hated the F train anytime of day, but it was easier to tune out the voices on the early morning commute. Most people were so groggy they weren’t thinking about much of anything except that they wanted to go back to bed.
Sure there was the occasional guy internally screaming about venture capitalists and the dude that made up pervy limericks for every woman he wanted to have sex with. Though he hadn’t made up one about me. I mean, he tried, but he never finished it because I glared at him until until he lost his train of thought. Now, he just looks past me as though I don’t exist. I’m fine with that.
But at night, the noise of people’s thoughts was almost deafening. So many people were tense and exhausted. Most of them hated their jobs and were drowning in student loan debt. There was the teenage boy who was constantly trying to think of different ways to make noodles so his siblings would eat them, the actors and actresses running lines in their heads, the guy who was convinced the subway cars were actually sleeping Transformers and regularly sought evidence that they’d wake soon.
My gaze drifted to the couple across from me. The guy was a sleaze–he was currently expecting a “work emergency” text from his administrative assistant. His wife or girlfriend looked to be about six or seven months pregnant, too. What a fucking pig.
Don’t worry about me.
I looked at the man next to me, but his face was slack as he dozed in his seat.
Really, don’t worry about me. I know what he’s doing.
I looked around the car. No one else seemed to have heard anything. As I scanned the nearly empty seats, my gaze fell on the couple across from me, again. The woman met my gaze, a small smile playing around her lips.
He’s about to get a text from Carina, telling him that there’s an emergency with the Turner account.
My eyes widened, and I knew I was staring in shock. I’ve always heard people’s thoughts. As a child, it was a shock to me that not everyone could. But this is the first time anyone had ever responded. I was stunned. I wasn’t alone.
An overly-cheery text tone sounded, and the sleaze swiped his thumb across the screen. His placid expression became a study of disappointment, and he sighed loudly.
“What’s wrong?” the woman murmured.
“There’s a problem with the Turner account. I need to go back in.”
“Now?” She looked completely crushed.
I had to give the woman credit. She was totally believable in her disappointment.
“I know we were supposed to pick out the nursery furniture, but I’ll make it up to you. We’ll go this weekend instead.”
Oh my god–the dude was a walking cliché.
The woman snorted, but she quickly turned it into a cough.
The man frowned. “Are you okay? You’re not coming down with anything are you?”
She shook her head then smiled adoringly at him. “Just a tickle in my throat.”
The train slowed as it pulled into the station at Bleaker Street. “Will you be okay to head home if I get off here and go back to the office?”
She nodded, and he pressed a tender kiss to her forehead before getting up and stepping through the open doors onto the platform.
The woman turned and waved at him through the window. There’s a motion-activated nanny cam hidden in a sculpture on his bookshelf. It records directly to my laptop and the cloud. She patted her stomach as she smiled sadly at me. Baby and I will be in our own place soon, and the walking cliché will be paying for it.
I mentally raised a glass to her as she stood and prepared to get off at the next stop.
She waggled her fingers at me and said, “Cheers,” just before she disappeared into the throng of people on the platform.
That’s is for me, today. Be sure to check out the other bloggers’ stories, too.