Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Scribblings: Trust

This is a continuation of Sunday Scribblings: Art

When the bus finally reached the MOMA, I made an efficient exit and headed straight towards BART, the folded note laying flat in my front pocket.

I fed my ticket into the turnstile and ran down the stairs just in time to make my train.

I found two empty seats in the back corner of the train and sat down tossing my bag onto the adjacent seat. I tried to appear angsty and menacing so I could enjoy the ride with my personal space still in tact.

I reached into my bag and pulled out the current senior English assigned book and tried to muster interest in Hester’s plight. It was not easy. The mohawked teen and his tattooed girlfriend whispering to each other by the doors were far more interesting.

I forced myself to focus and finally got into the story.

“Do you mind if I sit here?”

I looked up. It was him

“Uh, what are you doing here?” I said.

“I’m riding BART. Do you mind?” He gestured to the seat, then sat on the edge, scooting over to occupy the full seat as I pulled my bag to the floor.

“I thought you said you lived in Pacifica. This train is eastbound.”

“Yeah, I know.” He said.

OK, this was starting to get a little disturbing. I really didn’t know anything about this guy other than the fact that he’d been coming to the art enrichment programs at the MOMA for a few weeks.

It’s possible that I also might have noticed that he was tall, had thick, wavy brown hair that I personally felt was wasted on a boy and should have been mine, and dark brown eyes that some might call “thoughtful” if they were so inclined to make those kinds of observations, which I was pretty sure I was not.

“Then, I think you are on the wrong train.”

Why was he here? Did he want to make sure I didn’t snitch? Keep me silent-- permanently? Make me an offer I couldn’t refuse?

I quickly went through my mental self defense file: Fingers to the eyes, jab and dig, violent stomp on the inside ankle, knee to the groin, car keys to the face. I casually fished around in my bag for my keys while trying to make eye contact with anyone on the train who seemed strong and heroic. Of course no one was looking.

“I just wanted to thank you for not saying anything about…you know.” He patted the messenger bag still slung across his chest. “I know this looks bad, but there is a very good explanation. You have to believe me.”

“Why don’t you enlighten me?” I suggested.

“I would love to,” he started, “but…”

I shook my head and turned to look out the window into the blackness of the tunnel. I suppose I didn’t expect him to confess, but why go all the trouble of following me on to the train if he didn’t at least have some kind of story to share?

“I know I’ve given you no reason to trust me.” He said. “But I just want you to know I’m not a thief.”

I turned and looked at him.

“My name is Marcus.” He held out a hand as if he wanted to shake and I took it-- reluctantly.

“And will you be attending art enrichment at the MOMA next week, Marcus?” I asked.

“No, I won’t be back.”

I can’t say I was surprised. “The perfect crime.” I said, giving him a weak smile.

“This is my stop” He said, getting up. “Maybe I’ll see you around.” He smiled back at me as he made his way to the exit.

I watched him slowly ascend on the escalator as the train pulled out of the station. If he was trying for “mysterious” he was only slightly off the mark. As for “confusing” and “maddening”—bull’s-eye.

I turned, leaning my back against the wall of the train, stretching my legs out to the empty seat next to me and meant to get back to my book when I noticed it.

Down by my foot, in the seat that was moments ago occupied by “I’m not a thief” Marcus, was a folded up piece of notebook paper.


I-Shüan Warr said...

AAAAAAH! Another cliff hanger!? Is your middle name "Dan Brown"? Tell me this isn't the last chapter...

Tara said...

Please say there's more. I don't do well with unfulfilled suspense Afton. This just has to be a a page at a time from a complete story, right? :-)

Debbie said...

I didn't think it was possible but YOU MADE IT WORSE!!! You are MEAN MEAN MEAN!

Um...I guess I'm using the wrong approach if I'm wanting more story...I should be sucking up!

Another great piece of writing Afton! You are so talented! You must give us more! (Actually, that's all true...otherwise I wouldn't be mad).

Erika and Ryan said...


Erika and Ryan said...

Really, you need to hurry and tell us more! You need to make this into a book if you haven't already, seriously, this is the kind of writing I love and won't be able to quickly get out of my head. My fav so far!

Marah said...

Your public demands it! More!

Tara said...

Afton? Will you even see this comment? Is there more? Did I miss it? There just has to be more!