birthday stranger

He sat next to me on the BART. I was reading and I could feel him studying me. “You’re beautiful,” he said. “Thank you,” I said. “I might be gay,” he said, “but you’re beautiful.” “It’s ok, I’m gay too,” I said. “Really? You’re gay? That’s amazing, that’s wonderful. Do you have a girlfriend?” he said. “It’s complicated,” I said. He nodded. “It’s my birthday,” I said. “It’s midnight. Right now, it just became my birthday.” “Why are you alone on your birthday?” he said. “I spent all day running around with friends,” I said. “I wanted to usher in this new year by myself tonight.” “How old are you?” he said. “26,” I said. “You are so beautiful,” he said. “I wish I could be alone,” he said. “I’m in love with this guy and as soon as he loves me back everything will be okay.” “You don’t need him,” I said. “You’re just fine without him. You have your life to live.” “I’m 22,” he said. Yeah, I said. You’ll be just fine. You are a gift, he said. I’m not going to forget you. And then he smiled and said, know something funny? You didn’t usher in your birthday alone. You ushered it in with me.

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