On Reflection | Lauren Archer-Jones

 


On Reflection

Lauren Archer-Jones

Romancing The Phone Award


 

Delayed.

I take a seat and gently sip from a steaming hot coffee. My hands are a little shaky as always but I’m keeping it together. I’m not a people watcher, but I occasionally glance to see who’s about. A man seems to catch my eye. Surely not. I quickly look back down and my hands tremble further. Curiosity overwhelms me and I have to check. He is. He’s looking directly at me. I smile shyly and look away. I can see the train arriving. I rummage though my bag, checking for my book and my glasses, and once I’m satisfied, I stand to greet the approaching train.

I settle myself and can’t help but see if I’m still being watched. He’s looking straight at me. Straight into my eyes. At first I thought he was on the platform. His figure was slightly distorted, pale, mysterious. But as the train starts moving, I realise he’s still there. He’s on my train.

We exchange glances, smiles. When he looks, he looks directly at my eyes. It’s intimidating but alluring. He captivates me. I can’t stop.

“Sir? Sir? Ticket please?”

I’d been so engrossed in our little game that I hadn’t noticed the attendant. He was blocking my view now anyway so I fumble in my wallet and produce the ticket. The excitement of the attendant moving so we can play our game again fills me with adrenaline. I start to feel a little silly and giddy. So when I’m handed my ticket back, I start to fold it into a tiny paper aeroplane. I feel like fun.

The train is pretty empty now, so I’m confident. I throw it and it hits him in the head. He barely flinches, which intrigues me more. There isn’t long until my stop, I have to seize the day.

I take a deep breath, calmly gather my belongings and cross the train to where he sits. I take the seat opposite, smile, and say,

“Sorry about the aeroplane, I was just trying to get your attention. I can’t help but notice that you’ve been looking at me?”

He doesn’t say a word. He just continues to stare straight into my soul. He doesn’t have to use words. I can feel his energy, his longing. We’re connected beyond speech.

“I get it. It’s fine, let’s just sit together.”

I switch seats to sit next to him and gently rest my head on his. The vibrations of the train movement ricochet through our combined skulls and it lulls me into a sleepy state. We sit like this, connected, loving, understanding, for the rest of the journey.

“Sir? It’s the end of the line. Everyone off.”

I must have dozed off. I turn and my lover is still there.

“Off we get.” I say.

“Sorry what?” Says the attendant.

“Sorry, I wasn’t talking to you.” I smirk. Silly man. “I was talking to my friend.”

“He’s not going to hear you through the glass, mate. Wait until you get onto the platform.”

I’m stunned. “He’s not on the platform. He’s here.” I motion to my new friend.

The attendant looks at me with kindness, and speaks slower, “OK mate. Do you know where you are? Here, let me help you.”

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