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Rain showered over the city, water pelting the taxi’s window. I stared out the window, filmed over with fingerprints and trickling water droplets that resembled tears rolling down a cheek. The metropolis was distorted through the glass, scarlet red, lime green and amber yellow lights streaking across the bleak, gray sky like an artist’s palette and melting down the window.
A scent of dew blended with factory smoke penetrated my exhaustion. I twirled my silky dark hair around my finger in boredom, trapped in a hazy, tiring daze.
I wiped my hand across the window, eliminating some of the evaporated water coating the glass, clearing the city for me to gawk.
Taxis, vans, Volvos, BMWs passed through the streets. Despite the rain, people still walked around as if it were sun-drenched and temperate.
I clutched my parka, suddenly realizing something. These people, mundane bystanders and strangers that I never even met, suddenly felt like family and friends, loved ones who I was abandoning.
Never again would I see the woman with the big, inky hair and large freckles that lived across from me. Never again would I see a chubby guy at a hot dog stand.
I ogled Central Park as we drove by it. A girl sat on a bench, her face murky with tears and mascara. I would never see her again. I would never be sure why she was crying. Was she fired? Did she lose a loved one? Was she dumped? I tried reading her expression, clues of what happened, some entity to reveal why a pretty, young girl was spending her time crying on a bench, the rain pouring down on her sorrow.
I glared at the sidewalk. Standing there was a young couple, kissing tenderly under the rain. The woman appeared to be cheerful, invigorated, in love. I almost cried as I noticed the man’s face, uncertainty dripping from it. I saw the future of the woman, full of despair and pain, simply because she let her vulnerability run free and into the arms of a man who couldn’t keep it safe and warm.
Next to them was a mustachioed man, a cigarette pinched in his mouth, his hand wrapped around a Starbucks cup. He looked angry and imperious. He was possibly a boss of some major company.
None of them, not one, I would ever lay my eyes on again. They were strangers, I knew that, but as I gazed on into their faces, reading their emotions, I could so easily learn their pasts and predict their futures, even if they themselves couldn’t.
I continued the study throughout the ride. I suddenly knew why strangers were called strangers. Even if you never met a person, they give off clues that help you realize how much you really know them, even if they never say a word or make a face or even pass. That in my opinion is very strange.
I’ll miss you all.