Serena looked at him again out of the corner of her eye. He was looking straight ahead, lost in his music, now that he’d said hello. She turned her head and looked at him. She had felt his eyes upon her, day in, day out, until he had noticed her ring and then he had not really looked again. It was rare in her experience for a man to be so respectful of her status.
He was nothing special to look at. Overweight, scruffy looking, long hair and a beard that were clearly personal choices, rather than the best use of his features. She was intrigued by his reasons for standing to her left every morning, and always acknowledging her, rather than treating her like a ghost as most passengers did. She made an announcement and then resolved to watch him for a clue.
As the train came to a stop she realised that there was a door that was almost always just a person’s width to her left; she always stood on the same mark. He did not look back, just boarded the train; he was saying ‘morning’ to be polite, nothing more.