The words over at Three Word Wednesday are grin, jumble and naked.
They met, haphazardly, on an express 3 train, one of the older ones with the yellow-and-orange butt-cupper seats where everyone tried to leave a spot open on either side of them, so as not to have to deal with the touch another human being for the duration of the ride.
Devon Richter had entered the car from the end door, the one closest to the turnstiles, and hoped upon hope that someone leaving would vacate his favorite standing spot by the opposite door.
Kate Beecher entered the car through the middle door and was propelled forward into the crowded car by the crush of the bodies surging and had to stretch to grasp middle pole, which ran down the length of the car, except for spaces at the doors. She gripped the metal while holding her sleeve over her exposed palm, clutching mostly cloth, rather than the cool sweatiness of the steel.
They both watched as riders did their usual dance at each successive downtown station, standers sitting in slots that opened by those who were getting off and when a good spot to stand opened up – always at the doors, where you had the luxury of standing next to just one other person and you could rest your ass against the steel while the train lurched between stops.
Richter was lucky. He’d claimed his door spot – he usually didn’t take a seat during rush times, since manners drilled into him since grade school meant he’d be taking the seat of an old woman or a lady with kids or some disabled vet – and slumped into the door.
For Kate, it took three more stops before a seat opened up, and right under Devon’s armpit too, as he held onto the steel that framed the bookend of the seat row. He didn’t use his shirt to hold onto the pole like she did, secure in the knowledge (his own, of course) that it was much better to get somewhere and wash your hands thoroughly and quite vigorously to combat any and all germs that lingered on all train surfaces.
During a rather violent train surge as the 3 came into Grand Central, Devon lost grip of the steel and brushed Kate’s hair with his fingers, and got a pinky stuck where she had gathered her bunny-colored brown hair into a ponytail.
“Really sorry,” he said, face aflame.
“No worries,” she said, her white skin flush around her cheekbones. “This train driver, huh?”
“He’s making me a little motion sick,” Devon said, captivated as he watched the swell of Kate’s breasts as he stood over her scoop-necked blouse.
He grinned. She grinned back, a toothy smile that turned upward at both corners of her lips, which Devon found endearing and more than slightly erotic.
Nothing more was said between them until 14th Street, where both were to exit. Kate got up from her seat and Devon ran squarely into the back of her – his groin pressed into her butt – while adjusting his headphones. The collision then propelled her forward, squishing her solidly into a elderly and rather portly Korean woman who was having trouble getting her wheeled luggage cart they all seemed to have these days rolling forward on two wheels.
“Really sorry,” he said into her ear, as close as he was, truly invading her personal space.
“No worries,” she said. “What’s with all these luggage carts, huh?”
They stepped on the platform one after another and turned right, Devon exiting the station through the metal bar gate while Kate hit the turnstile, and both took a last look before the hit opposite stairs.
“You, ah, I know it’s a little early for a beer or something, but a coffee maybe?”
Her sheets were a jumble between them and Devon had propped himself on an elbow, uncovered and completely naked, and watched her sleep. He studied her, observed Kate’s chest rise and fall, listened to her snore, which was something of a cross between a purr and a hiccup. He wore an odd little smile on his face, and as she woke, he brushed his graying hair back out of his face.
“Hi, you,” she said.
They kissed, and as they parted, she looked into Devon’s face, trying to discern the grin, which she felt was a mix of sly and somewhat satisfied knowing.
“Oh, good God, you’re married, aren’t you?”
“No,” he said as he put his face into the warm nape of her neck. “But I am considering the possibilities.”