I see her joyous, stepping onto the tube, light footed, lingering laughter from the game she was playing on the platform just moments before I, in this carriage, arrived.

Light in her eyes, I take it from her with a look.

I kill her smile, her lovely laughter, her sparkle, with that look. I remind her this is London, we are not friends, I will not be touched by her joy.

With my hand lowered in my notebook I raise my eyebrows towards her, and kill it.

If she were not alone, her companion would have given her strength;keep her from the reality of the bitter woman crushing her from across the aisle. If she were not alone, at most I may have made her self conscious, make her hesitate only, but she is alone.

So I channel the cold, the bitterness I feel, and find it a home behind her eyes. The only pleasure I can feel this evening is victory, in my power to affect. To crush.

But I think she will find pleasure in her joyous day, and in the arms of the adoring lover waiting for her at the end of this journey, whereas my joy will be crushed by its own bitterness and cold empty bed.


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