I caught his gaze out the corner of my eye and realised we were reading the pages of my book together. His face showed the lines of a man aged well before his years. Of where life had made him feel unworthy. Of family that hadn’t given him the thing he had witnessed so often. Love. Of friends as empty as egg cartons that have been stapled to walls to soak up the sounds of silences between them.
As I went to turn the next page, I turned my head towards him as well. He stammered at being caught, assuming his imposition, believing he had been a burden. “I’m sorry.” His eyes keep saying as they looked at my shoe laces, but all that came out of his mouth was the first syllable. I reached across and touched his leg, hoping my stillness could stem his shakes. My gaze reached out, but didn’t penetrate, didn’t judge him for all his misguided steps. It invited him into space between us, out of his self-imposed asylum.
“It’s ok, I only wanted to know if you were done on this page.”
His smile poured from his cheeks and ran down the isles of the tram.