The train pulls into the subway station with a prolonged hiss. Businessmen, hipster couples, young families, and tourists rise up and make their way to exit the car. The doors slide open and people burst forth into collision. As one mass jostles to get out, another fights the tide to get in. Every eye is focused, steeled to push through to some goal past the throng.
Two eyes are wide. They belong to a young man. Fifteen, maybe sixteen years old. Backpack. Gray sweatshirt with the hood up. Headphones wrapped around his neck. But those eyes. They're wide as the night. A potent mix of anxiousness and fear fill his pupils. His face is not held forward, but swivels to every body that knocks into him.
He finds himself a seat on a bench. The doors slide to a close. The train creaks. The window behind him show tiles, then blur, then darkness. His knees begin to bounce. Up and down. Faster and faster like pistons. The wide eyes shut then seconds later fly back open. They dart back and forth and then fixate on a stained spot on the floor; as if that spot holds the answer to whatever is plaguing his mind.
He's afraid. Is the fear because of where he's been? Where he's going? The journey in between? Perhaps it's some combination of the three. His knees continue to pump. His fingers lock together. Then he brings his hands up over the top of his head, dragging them over his hair before resting them on his neck.
His lips begin to move. There's a rhythm to it; nearly in time to the bouncing of his knees. At first it seems like he is mouthing the words to a song. But he isn't listening to a song. The headphones are still draped around his neck. Looking closely, you can see the words repeat. Three words. Over and over again.
Please, God, help.