The baby begins to cry. Most of the passengers cast perturbed looks at the young mother. She tries to dodge the eye daggers by leaning in close to the infant's face. But the child grows exponentially more upset. Nothing seems to work. The woman's steely resolve begins to melt as the tears form in her eyes.
Please. We're almost there. Hold on just a little longer.
A middle-aged woman gets up out of her seat and steps over to the mother. She puts a hand on the younger woman's shoulder. She smiles gently before speaking.
Here, sweetheart, let me help you with your things so you can feed your baby.
Gratitude radiates from the young mother's face. Her Good Samaritan lifts the bags off her arms and shoulders. The mother finds her way down to the bench. Her hand bracing beneath her almost as if she expects the seat to be some sort of mirage. She drapes a cover over her child and begins to nurse. The screaming stops almost immediately and a breath of relief escapes the mother's mouth.
When the infant has finished, the mother gets up just as the train pulls into the station. She looks at the woman who has helped her.
Thank you so much. This is my stop.
She reaches for the bags. But the other woman shakes her head vigorously.
This is my stop too. I'll carry it for you a bit more.
The mother smiles even as she holds back tears. The two woman exit the car. People pour in. People pour out. The doors close. Then you see the tile. The blur. The darkness.