Like me she is a commuter. I see her every morning, sitting across the aisle from me. I am in my favourite seat. She sits in the same seat each day and she is always wearing the same clothes – black, bootcut trousers, a black hoodie and black trainers with a pink logo. Her hair is black too. Only the occasional glimpse of her fingernails provide a splash of colour – usually neon pink, like the logo on her shoes.
She wears big black sunglasses. Inside the train and whatever the season, she always wears sunglasses. I wonder if she is tired or hungover. Is she hiding eyes that are red-rimmed from crying? Does she have bruises? I have shared this train journey with her for nearly a year and I have never seen her without her big black sunglasses.
She looks absently out the window of the train. I have never seen her read a book, a newspaper or a magazine. She doesn’t listen to music. She doesn’t look at her phone or use a computer. She sits quietly on the train for more than forty minutes every morning and looks out the window. What does she see? What is she looking for? When the train reaches the city she shuffles down the aisle, out of the train and along the platform with the rest of us.
Who is this woman who can sit and stare?