Look at Who Stepped in When the Train stopped at the Station

A short short story by Leon Wing

She quickly flitted a hand to her mouth (to hide the jaw dropping) from seeing who stepped in (Mind the gap, it said somewhere, she remembered seeing while waiting at another station before this) when the LRT train stopped at the Bangsar station before (Ding! Ding!) moving on again. She wouldn’t, of course, know who this person was, who took a vacated seat from someone who had got up for his stop. But as a grandmother of another passenger beside her, a little boy (of five, very thin, with big eyes), she could declaim, without anyone countering her, that she knew a lot of things, had seen many things throughout her life time, had been through many, many experiences which the young - anyone in this carriage – would never have had the opportunity to have. But the sight before her caught her short, unlike anything like those things, those experiences – not the war (second one, that is), nor the Japanese soldiers beating someone who didn’t bow before him – not anything. This – She? He? S-he? What is this? - this person, who had seated directly opposite machik, couldn’t fail to catch the jaw-drop, the raised eye brows (not plucked, so bushy), the whites (red veins) around startled black eyes. Nickie settled down (as comfortably as one could on a hard plastic seat) with one knee draped over the other, a rather large foot, encased in pointed high-heels, swinging so, so slightly. Nickie made to glance across at machik (still covering her mouth) under heavily painted lids, and made a moue, and then a slight tilt of the head, up: Look at my bright blue eyeliner! Look at my red, red lips! Look at my long hair, falling just before the tips touched my bare shoulders!

© Leon Wing


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