116 - simple
he train carriage swayed gently from side to side as it negotiated another bend in the rails. Marcus' head did the same as he tried to comprehend the situation that was unfolding in front of him.
"I can't believe you forgot it again," the woman next to him said. This time, she spoke at a relatively normal volume, albeit with an exasperated tone in her voice. Throughout the conversation, this had not always been the case. She had repeated the same grouping of words several times previously, but sometimes angrily, sometimes through tears, and once or twice, while shrieking.
Marcus had no idea who this woman was, but she apparently thought he should. The "it" that he had supposedly forgotten was their anniversary. The entire concept was ridiculous to Marcus, and initially he tried to plead his case to her, after it had become clear that he could not simply ignore her. "Here you are," she had begun. "I thought I would find you hiding on the train."
Briefcase in hand, Marcus said nothing. It was obvious that she was talking to him, but since he didn't recognize her at all, he assumed that he was simply mistaken, and that she was talking to someone else near him. His strategy did not work, as she got more confrontational, getting directly into his face. "Hello? I'm talking to you. It's pretty rude to ignore your wife, on your anniversary of all days!"
"I think you must be confused, I'm not your husband. I don't believe we have ever met," he had said, calmly, figuring and hoping that would be the end of it. "Very funny, wise guy," she said sarcastically. "Did you really think you could just run away from me?"
Marcus just smirked and tried to reiterate his point. "No, really, that's the truth."
He had looked around the car at that time, as some of his fellow commuters had apparently taken a bit of interest in this drama that was developing. A few of them even shot him some disapproving glances, as if to say to him, "yeah, how could you?!"
"Look, my name is Marcus, I'm on my way to work. I don't know who you are looking for, but I'm most certainly not him. I've never been married, actually I don't even have a girlfriend. So, please, just leave me alone."
It was at this point that the strange woman had initially burst into tears. He knew about the old rule of not judging a book by its covers, but he had to admit he had some preconceived notions about what crazy people looked like. This woman didn't fit into those notions at all. She didn't look crazy. He would not have shied away from her if not for her outbursts.
"You don't need to tell me who you are, Marcus DeMilo," she said through her tears. He wondered, how had she known his name? Perhaps she was truly a crazy stalker, or a scam artist who had researched his identity beforehand. Marcus got nervous, and clutched his briefcase a little more tightly.
"And," she began, choking back more tears, "how can you say you aren't married? What is that, then?" she asked, while gesturing to his hand. Looking down, Marcus was shocked to see a gleaming wedding band on the appropriate finger. At that moment, the color had drained from his face. Could she have slipped it onto his hand at some point during the conversation, some sleight of hand? Perhaps, but he was certain that he had been grasping his briefcase the entire time, and the tightness of the ring did not make it seem like it could have easily or stealthily been slipped on.
"I, I don't know," he stammered, now acutely aware of the constricting weight on his finger.