“I’m still alive, but I’m barely breathing. Pray to a God that I don’t believe in…” Olive sat back in her seat, listening to her headphones as The Script woos her. She’s watching the passing buildings outside her window thinking about lunch with Jo; her best friend. She giggles to herself as the man across from her seat on the commuter train watches her, she blushes and quickly looks back out the window. Jo was right, Olive knew it. There have been a strange load of events over the last few weeks, things that were so outside of who she was, it left her constantly thinking about her donor heart. Before she would never have thought there to be art in graffiti, today however, she finds poetic justice in the work along the old Georgetown buildings. The train slowed down as it approached the Tukwila station, and Olive watched the passengers come and go.
A man about her age stepped into the train and looked around a bit confused. Olive, totally lacking the ability to be discreet, burned her eyes into him as she watched his every move. The commuter train conductor came down the aisle to check if everyone was in or out. The man tapped her on the shoulder, and began signing to the conductor. Extreme confusion, and lack of patience, spread across the woman’s face; “Will someone let me know when we get to Tacoma?” the man asked repeatedly with his hands, while mouthing the words. Olive didn’t know what over came her, she had never had any classes in American Sign Language, but yet she knew exactly what he was trying to say. As if she was on autopilot, Olive stood up and approached the two.
“Mam” she said, “He’s asking if someone would let him know when we get to Tacoma.” interpreting for the man. Grateful to have someone step in, the conductor asked Olive where her stop was. “I am actually getting off in Tacoma…” she replied not only verbally, but in sign as well to benefit the young man. The man replied with a simple “Thank you” by gesturing with his right hand, from his chin to the face up palm of his left hand. Olive invited him to sit near her, he followed back to her seat. She sat and went kind of numb. “How the hell did I know what was being said, let alone able to reply?” She was baffled, but took it with grace. The two sat and talked silently until they reached their destination. He thanked her again as he stepped off onto the platform. She nodded, and thanked him back.
It was at that moment she finally decided to find out about her donor heart.