We pulled up to Tsuzuki-fureai-no-oka station. As the conductor slowed the train, lining the doors up to the painted markings with an exacting squeeze of the brake, a papa and baby came into view. Dad was wearing black-framed glasses and a bright pink shirt and holding a little boy six or eight months old with a pouf of hair and chubby cheeks. They were waiting by the side of the door that was about to open, dad with his arms wrapped around the kid and covering his face with kisses. A kiss on one fat cheek, then the other, unrolling in slow motion as we came to a stop and the doors slid open.
The baby pointed and burbled, and my view was obscured as the suits and fashionable shopping ladies filed on. They clamored for seats and claimed hand straps.
The doors slid shut. We started to pull away. Papa and baby stood rooted to the same spot on the platform, gesturing and looking. Dad nodded and cooed and kissed. We went into the tunnel.