Disparate

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“It hurts, doesn’t it?”
Brandon Marceau was sitting on a bench at the metro station. He’d arrived earlier than usual to get some work done, and was patiently awaiting the arrival of the 7:00 transact with his files spread out on his lap and his pen held ready in his hand. His eyes were focused hard, but not on his work. Although he sat leaning over, with his elbows on his knees and his face tilted towards his numerous papers, his gaze betrayed his stature. His eyes were locked painfully on the familiar pale girl in a short black dress, who was sitting on a bench on the opposite side of the station from him and was engaged in a deep, and apparently pleasant, conversation with a tall, dark haired boy Brandon was not familiar with.
“I’m sorry?” he glanced, distracted from his thoughts, at the source of the voice and found a petite girl, perhaps around age 20, not looking at him, but also focusing on the couple across the concrete cavern. She glanced at him, then back at the couple, and he found himself following her gaze back across the station as well.
“It hurts.” She said clearly, indifferently. “Watching her.” She had a pleasant voice and a peculiar face: clear white skin, cool, dark, deep-set eyes which were bare of all makeup but a thin layer of mascara, high eyebrows, jet black hair; all very ordinary features that somehow seemed very extraordinary on her. He could have stared for hours had he not already been preoccupied with the girl across the station. “You know her?”
Brandon didn’t answer quickly. He stared at the girl across the station, trying to see any trace of someone he might remember. It was the same blonde hair, the same blue eyes, but everything in her black shimmering presence was disparate as possible to the sunshine and innocence he’d seen once before. The barely recognizable girl on the other side of the station stood and kissed her friend goodbye as her train appeared down the tracks. Even from across the threshold, he saw her black lined, bright lit eyes meet his for an instant, a smile still playing on her bright red lips, before the speeding blur of heavy metal gears and Plexiglas obscured her from view. He looked at the girl beside him, and even in her absolute converse from light blonde and blue, he saw more of someone he’d once known in her than he saw in the girl who was now smirking from him from the other side of the grimy, fingerprint-smudged window.
“No,” he said finally, meeting eyes with the other girl for the first time. “I don’t know her.”
She just nodded, and watched as the train pulled away. When all the cars had heaved themselves out of the way, the tall, dark haired boy was left sitting on the bench on the other side of the tracks, a smug look aimed at the small girl by his side. Brandon turned to her, and saw that she was looking at him as well, but she quickly looked away, the smallest sign of betrayal disappearing in her eyes, and smiled.
“Yeah. Me neither.”





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