The Long Ride Home
The Metro pulled up and Sandra gave a heartfelt sigh. The car was already packed, and she was just one of many dodging for a seat on the train that was so crowded, it was all she could do to get on it. She could only hope that by the time she got to her stop, all the way out in Maryland, she could at least sit down.
She hated the times when the train was this crowded, hated being overwhelmed with the stench of male sweat (how do het women put up with it anyway?), and hated the sardine-packed bodies pushing up against her. At least there were no children around.
The train started moving and Sandra couldn’t even grab a railing to hold onto. In fact, she was so tightly packed, she couldn’t even pull her arm up.
And that was when she felt a hand on her butt. She tried to turn around to face her molester, but there were just too many people there. She tried to move, but all that accomplished was to get her molester to start caressing her butt in a definitely suggestive manner. There was no chance that this was anything accidental.
Laura DeHart Young
Sandra, with considerable effort, reached behind her and grabbed the offending hand. It was decidedly feminine. Unable to turn around, the owner of the hand would remain a mystery - at least until the next stop - when maybe, just maybe - someone, anyone would get off the damned train!
In the meantime, Sandra held onto the stranger’s hand - and it held onto hers. The fingers of the hand caressed her palm in a ticklish way that made Sandra smile. Then the unknown fingers traced each one of her fingers - slowly, deliberately, up and down each digit until chills shot up Sandra’s spine. Sandra tried desperately to turn her head but the shoulders of the
guy in front of her were smashed against her face. Her hip was jammed into the seat to her left. To her right an older woman with about four shopping bags, a purse and a briefcase blocked any thought of movement to that side.
All the time Sandra was struggling to move, the fingers of the unknown hand continued to trace their way up and down her hand from palm to wrist. Suddenly, the fingers started up her back and stopped to caress the nape of her neck. Just as this was happening, the train jolted to a sudden stop. People were getting off and Sandra could finally not only breathe, but also turn around to get a look at the owner of the wandering hand. Turn she did...only to be shocked by what she saw.
Peggy J. Herring
“Diane!” Sandra gasped. Her mouth was open, but no other words were coming out. She didn’t know whether to scream or hug her.
“I always said I’d know your butt anywhere and I was right,” Diane said. “A dark room. A crowded train. A butt convention for the blind.”
With trembling legs and a chill racing down her spine, Sandra eased into the closest seat, careful not to take her eyes off this person. She looks like Diane, Sandra thought. She sounds like Diane.
“I need your help, Sandra,” the woman said slowly as she sat down in the seat across from her.
“Who are you?” Sandra whispered.
“You know who I am.”
“I was at your funeral!” Sandra hissed. Tears stung her eyes and fear lodged itself in her throat.
Sandra wasn’t even sure why she was afraid other than the fact that she was seeing a ghost.
“I’ve been in Argentina,” Diane said. “I’m back now and I need your help.”
“You died in a car accident,” Sandra said stoically.
“That wasn’t me,” Diane said.
“No shit!” Sandra snapped, suddenly angry at having been duped by this woman -- an ex-lover and former friend. Diane’s death had been a tremendous shock and the pain of losing her was still fresh and raw. Still not quite convinced that the person she was seeing was real, Sandra asked, “Then who did we bury? All of your friends were there. Your parents were there. Your mother was devastated!”
“I know. I know. That’s why I need your help now.”
The tears came again without warning and clouded Sandra’s vision once more. It really was Diane. Only Diane would be so unconcerned about a little thing like pretending to be dead and putting loved ones through a funeral!
“Ohmigod,” Sandra murmured with a sniff. “It really is you.”
“It really is me.”
Sandra reached for her and pulled her into her arms for a bone-crushing hug, oblivious to the handful of people still on the train with them. “How dare you do this to me,” she said. “How I’ve missed you.”
“I need your help, Sandra.”
“I’m sure you do, you crazy dyke,” Sandra said with a sniff, hugging her again for good measure.
“Let’s get off at this stop. We need to talk.”
The train slowed down and then eased to a stop. Sandra disembarked with Diane right behind her.
“I’d know that butt anywhere,” Diane said with a low whistle. “A crowded train. A butt convention for the blind.”