What first attracted my eyes to her was her height, for she was about two heads taller than most of the other women in the crowd. Her bright pink hair sported streaks of black down each side, and her oil-black sunglasses, worn inside the hectic train station, made many people stop and stare at her, usually before quickly scurrying out of her way. Yet, despite the black leather jacket and the gray chest-hugging top and the black miniskirt and the black-and-blue thigh-high stockings and the military-style boots and the many silver chains and jewelry she wore, she did not appear threatening, especially not since she was clutching a stuffed teddy bear to her side. As I watched her approaching where I waited, I saw a rebellious young woman making a FUCK YOU statement to the world while maintaining a tight grip on the little girl inside.
My eyes tracked her discretely around my magazine, but she knew that I was watching her. As she approached, she turned her head in my direction, and although I could not see her eyes, I could feel her appraising me, making her initial judgment of me.
She slowed. She stopped, looking down at me from behind those extremely dark lenses. The teddy bear was moved upward and clutched to her chest.
Time seemed to stand still. I was keenly aware of the people around us watching us watching each other. The sounds of the crowded train station seemed distant, almost mute, masked by the pounding of my heartbeat in my ears. My focus was entirely on this strange young woman, this childlike rebel who appealed to something deep within me.
A gradual smile upturned the corners of her unpainted mouth. Slowly, she stepped forward, then bent downward, the teddy bear still clutched to her chest, her lips aimed at my cheek.
At her kiss, I felt a rush of remembrance surge through me. Her lips befell my face repeatedly, each kiss pulling at my mind and at my heart. The business magazine fell from my hands, bouncing off a thigh before falling to the faux-marble floor.
Slowly, she stood erect once again, the teddy bear still pressed between her breasts. I wished I could have seen her eyes, to try to determine if her actions were genuine or if someone had put her up to this. After all, I am not cover model material. I never turn heads. I am just an average person. I blend into a crowd of two and am instantly invisible to most people. Throughout my life, the few times I have ever received much attention, it was in jest, from someone who had been dared to tease me.
Stepping back from me, the teddy bear still clutched to her chest, she cocked her head to her left, her demeanor that of a person trying to make a decision. I was still quite aroused, both by her inexplicable attention and by her. Her appearance touched something deep inside me, reminding me of opportunities lost, and suddenly I felt twin streaks of warm wetness descending my cheeks.
She stepped forward again, bent again at the waist, still maintained the teddy bear between her breasts. Gently, softly, lovingly, she kissed away my tears, yet I could not stop crying. When she straightened again, she held out her arms and I immediately stood and became enfolded, crying into her chest, sobbing over my past, taking comfort in this strange young woman.
I saw in her the twin avenues I had not been able to take. Having been raised in a very strict family with rules so rigid that even now I can barely convince myself to break out of my shell, I had not been able to truly rebel. My clothes had always been perfect: dresses and blouses and skirts and low heels always in soft pastel colors with hair adornments to match; never was I permitted to wear anything "sexy," and certainly I could never act in a way which was not "ladylike." Yet as the oldest daughter, I was never truly able to be an innocent little girl, for I had been expected from a very early age to care for the younger children, to be a "little adult," treating school like an unpaid job and sacrificing almost all of my personal time to the needs and the demands of my siblings. My family had destroyed the little girl within me, and had effectively quashed all desire to rebel in any way possible.
I awoke in a strange bed in comforting arms. I did not recognize the language I heard coming from a muted discussion on the other side of the wall beside me. I was all too aware of the soft breasts pressed against my back. Yet I was most aware of the teddy bear which we both held to my bare chest.