23rd and 8th by Jessica Bonder
Thank God for Fred, who saved my mother in the 23rd and 8th subway station, local stop on the blue line (C-E), train-struck Patricia Elizabeth might as well been, for all the fear in her eyes, looking like a trapped animal, steel-barred, turnstile-stuck, swiping and re-swiping a single fare Metrocard, Fred coaching her from the other side, a train flying in and out in the meantime, my mother saying, I’m sorry, we missed it, I’m sorry, and Fred, another Fred (not my father), who long ago one might have called a gentleman, going, that’s okay, don’t worry, there’s always another.
Jessica Bonder is an American fiction writer and actor. She has been published in The Bohemyth, Vending Machine Press, STORGY Magazine and elsewhere. Her short story Not Today won first place in STORGY’s 2015 Short Story Contest, judged by author Paul McVeigh. She lives in New Jersey. www.jessicabonder.com / Twitter handle: @jessbonder