The stretch from Rosslyn to Arlington Cemetery is the longest uninterrupted section on the D.C. METRO Rail. There are four stops from Metro Center to Arlington National Cemetery and then four more to National, aka Ronald Reagan, Airport. Gabrielle knew from experience that Memorial Day was Arlington’s busiest day, after all, that’s what the holiday is for. Plus May is a far more pleasant month for grave visiting in The District than is November’s Veteran’s Day, the second highest volume day.
Sitting side by side on the subway train the older man leaned into the young woman and said, “So your parents must have pretty good taste if they named your brother Bill.”
Gabrielle turned her head toward her new acquaintance and said, “Pardon? Oh! Yeah! Sorry. Without the visuals irony is sometimes lost on me. Yeah. Good strong name you’ve got there,” she said with a smile.
“Uhhh, listen,” Bill said to her, “Speaking of being blind? I’m sure you’re completely capable of getting around by yourself but do you want me to get off with you at Arlington? I mean, just until you meet your brother?”
“Wow! That is super considerate of you, Bill. But seriously, I’ve done this since I was a little girl. First with Mom and Dad, then by myself, then Adriel and then alone again last year. I can handle it. Besides, my brother knows exactly where we’ll meet. As I said, we’ve been doing this every year since ninety one.”
“Okay. It’s obvious that you’re capable, I just wanted to make sure, well, you know.”
“I do. And thanks. One of the advantages of being a blind little girl in a sexist, patriarchal society is that men tend to look out for me,” she said with a wink and a gentle nudge to his ribs. “I took your offer in the spirit that it was intended. No problem what so ever, Batman.”
“Thanks!” he said, laughing out loud. “Hey, if I give you my number will you text me at least? Just so I know you’re okay?”
It was Gabrielle’s turn to laugh but she said, “Mr. Wayne if you give me your number I’ll text you when I’m heading home but I’m telling you I’ll be fine. You should see me in my martial arts class, the big bad boys won’t even spar with me anymore. I play too rough.”