He was on the way-side.

On the train, I saw him first. A tall boy; black hair that hung limp around a long pale face. And bright eyes, accentuated by shadows above hollow cheeks. It hit me then, as the train slowed, that something seemed off about him. He stood with his toes on the yellow line, just staring at the windows. Then his eyes slid to mine and held, held as the carriage dropped, held as I felt the brakes tighten and the train jerked.

And in that moment, with his eyes on mine--a stranger looking at a stranger--I knew. I don't know how. I don't know why. It was as if, in that moment, we were closer than any family, closer than any couple. Closer than even lovers, in an eternal embrace of kinship and urgency.

We were, closer, in that instant, than in any other.

Strangers, caught in a stare of azure, and I knew.

He was sad. He was angry and hurt and bitter. He was defeated. With bones sticking out from beneath paper-thin skin, creating jagged patterns like veins, edging their way to the centre of his being. A centre, that seemed to be breached, bent, broken.

A stranger, too dark and too skinny and just too Goddamn alone, that I, a complete nameless face to him, knew. And I wondered, in that instant when our eyes connected, why no one else could see what I saw. Was it because they weren't looking hard enough? Was it because he didn't want them to see? Or, was it because they just didn't c a r e ? He was just another teenager, another brokensoul that wasn't worth fixing, another statistic in the Destroyist Generation, who took a wrong turn and BAM!--

He was lost.

And in that instant, in that instant where our eyes slid together and his toes slid along the line, I knew, I knew even before he stepped forward, even before the brakes were slammed down in preparation that came just too late, even before the impact that strummed through my bones. I knew --

He was already lost.

a/n: inspired by a haiku i just read that had the word 'wayside' in it. heh.