Sunday, 10 April 2011


The train was crowded that day; so much more crowded and stupefying than usual. I pushed along, tired and fed up, in one direction looking for a seat; my bag felt heavy and knocked against standing, placid, passengers. I was so fed up with apologising; but just could not stop myself. Then I came to a halt at the doorway to the empty first class section. I peered in; such an expanse of wasted space. Could I? Should I? With only my lamentable second class ticket. I had a long journey ahead, through rain drenched middle England, and was determined not to stand the whole way. I turned back and regretted being such a coward.

Back through the passengers again; apologising, dammit. The train seems more crowded than ever and I'm more frustrated. And then near the end of the penultimate carriage, what's that? The crowds have thinned a little, just a little and maybe, just maybe. I retrieve a book from my bag and accidentally knock another passenger; who this time apologises to me! And push the bag into the non-existent space above the so empty seat. The seat does not appear to be anyone's, but now I do not care. I, at last, sit down; what a relief.

And then... and then... I shudder, I jolt upright, a delicious cascade of electricity shoots down my spine. I stare, I gaze at the spectacular vision opposite. A wonderful, petite, girl sits across from me, on the other side of the dirty table that separates us. Across the dirty coffee cups, the discarded sandwich wrappers, is the most beautiful girl; pale, short black hair, wearing tight green denim jacket.

I look, I cannot help it. She gets up, walks off; offended. What else can I do? I cannot read.

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