“Ah CHOO! “ A girl somewhere in his vicinity sneezed. “Oh thanks,” and before he knew it a tall skinny man with bad breath and a woman with peeling sunburn exited the train and gave way to the germ-infested one. She snatched the tissue out of his hands and wiped her nose with it, stuffing it in her coat pocket. She grabbed the pole with both hands through the crowd and smiled at Jarod.
He looked at her celery green eyes and her long wavy brown hair. It flowed down her back like something wild and divine, and suddenly, he didn’t know why, he was overwhelmed with the need to touch it.
She pulled a sport bottle out of her bag and took a swig of light green liquid. He stared at it hard, debating what might be inside but he knew he would never know unless he asked. He wasn’t exactly one to try new things and nothing about that green liquid was appealing to him.
“I’m going green,” the girl said, looking at her water bottle then looking at him.
“That ….turns you green?”
“No….you know….go green… save the planet,…no plastic…fossil fuels… dead Iraqi children….” she rambled on, pointing at her reusable water bottle and studying a piece of graffiti on the inside of the train. He stared at her, taking her all in. He wondered if she was really environmentally conscious or if she was just being trendy.
“I’m Aviva,” she said, extending an arm. Her wrist was covered in colorful bracelets, winding up her forearm, and as she shook his hand, they jingled together in such a way that Jarod almost didn’t want to let go. As Jarod exited the train, his travel size bottle of anti-bacterial lotion stayed firmly nestled in the front coat pocket, right next to a stack of business cards.
Their relationship developed casually, and as they bumped into each other periodically over the next few months on the subway, Jarod found himself thinking about her more and more. On a Wednesday in November they found each other, he looking prim and proper as usual, and her looking a little worse for wear.
“Hungover,” she said matter of factly as she sat down next to him, pulling her things up on her lap. She always had different bags and boxes and packages, and it killed Jarod to know what was inside them but he never asked, for fear of what her answer might actually hold. The last thing Jarod wanted was to know there was a live snake in a box on her lap, or human ear in a bag around her neck. Not a lot of things surprised Jarod, as he had programmed his life to avoid them, which in actuality meant most things outside his one bedroom apartment shocked him.
“People must see me partying and think ‘wow this girl should be in rehab’….but I’m just like ‘hey it’s a Tuesday!..” she talked to no one in particular, but he never exactly responded anyways. She gulped down her bottle of liquid, which Jarod had learned was in fact green tea. One day, Jarod politely asked for her number, and she of course obliged, being the free spirit she was.