I saw a couple on the train today. There was nothing special about them, to be very honest. He was in black gym shorts and a loose shirt, typical of the boys in humid Singapore. She was in a white dress and a blue cardigan, a modest outfit but nondescript nonetheless. They would have been easy to miss, had my senses been distracted by a book or a podcast as I usually am while travelling.
In that moment though, they had my attention.
Some people are discomfited by public displays of intimacy. I however enjoy them, not in a perverse way, but rather that in the hustle and bustle of my life, they are an unexpected reminder about the wonderful connections between people. A mother cooing to her baby, a friend leaning in for a whispered secret; these strangers were in their own worlds and I am happy enough as a spectator.
He had his arms comfortably around her waist. Even though all I could see was his back, I sensed that his eyes were closed, as hers was. The two of them seemed oblivious to the pressing crowd in the town-bound train.
The girl’s arms were wrapped tightly around the neck of the guy, her head buried deep in his chest. I wondered if she was inhaling his scent, the way I do with Justin as if with each deep breath I can hold on to a little more of him.
As the train slowed to a stop at the Cityhall station, she looked up and smiled. He bent down for a kiss. Nothing inappropriate, just a quick peck.
And just as quickly as it happened, the magical moment was over. She bent down to pick up her bag, at the same time he fished his phone out of his pocket. Not two seconds later, she had also taken her own phone from the bag. Unconscious habits, type type typing away. The two of them stepped out of the train, one in front of the other, almost as if they were strangers that happened to share the same space. Where hands and eyes were locked in embrace moments ago, they were now busy with something else altogether.