Riding the subway home, the cars packed shoulder to shoulder, silent strangers swayed and bumped against her in time to the rhythm of the tracks. The doors opened at her stop and she was jostled along the tiled hall and up the stairs onto the teeming streets. A long line, but no kind word, awaited her at the neighborhood bodega, where she stopped nightly to pick up her few necessities; Tonight’s purchase was small and singular.
Back into the crush, she made her way the remaining few blocks to her apartment and slowly climbed the four flights of stairs while breathing in the spicy aroma of shared dinners and listening to snippets of end day conversations through thin walls.
The finality of her apartment door closing behind her still echoed in her mind as the warm bath water she lie in turned from blush to crimson.