Across the car, passengers begin to tense up. Their eyes dart to their right before trying to return again to their home. Yet like a magnet, the eyes are drawn back. Then their heads turn in an open stare. You look to see what it is, but cannot tell for the crowd.
Then you hear what sounds like a hornet's nest. A cacophony of noise on the other end with a pair of men in the middle. One towers over the other. Muscular, burly. He wears black t-shirt, jeans, and a beige coat. The other man cowers beneath him. He wears glasses. His dark beard is neatly trimmed. He has wears a button up shirt and slacks. It looks like he's of Arab descent and then you hear that is what the entire commotion is all about.
I said, "Why don't you go back to your country?"
This is my country, sir. I have lived here for nearly twenty-five years. Ever since I was a boy!
Yeah? And how do we know you haven't been waiting all that time to blow us up? Just like your jihad brothers?
Sir, my religion finds that kind of violence completely unacceptable...
And what is that religion?
I am Muslim, sir.
Your kind wants all of us dead. You hate our way of life!
That's not true, sir.
I say we take the war to you before you take it to us!
A small mob was gathered around. In horror, you watched as they roared in approval. They begin to shove the man. His glasses were knocked off. Shouts filled the car; drowning out the squealing of the brakes. When the door open, they carried him like a wave to the platform. The man tried to scream but nothing came out.
The angry mob pressed him against the wall. They stretched his arms above him. The interior continued to beat and kick him. The exterior fought off the few that dared try to help their victim. You tried to press through, but the crowd is too great. The door slides shut and your eyes meet the man's through the window. There is no anger. He is broken, defeated, resigned to his fate.
You return to your seat as an uncomfortable murmur moves through the car. You put your head in your head. You don't see the blur and the darkness. The darkness is playing out in your mind over and over like a terrible move. And across the way, you hear the man who was praying. The one whose knees were pumping like pistons.
God, have mercy.