Thursday, October 20, 2016
Writing Prompts: Day 20
I am holding the coffee mug firmly, the palms of my hands pressed against either side of the warm ceramic. I'm desperate to try and keep warm. It's grey outside, the clouds coating over the town in one thick blanket of darkness. Pattering rain drops fall against the windowpanes.
I sit on my stool, foot twitching as I watch a stray cat, drenched from the downpour, scurry past my front door. I am restless. I can't seem to get him out of my mind. Him. I wonder what his name is. I'd seen him again today, on the train, as always. He was wrapped up in black trench-coat and scarf. Battered leather boots, scuffed as the toes - I stared down at them, using all of my concentration to restrain myself from glancing up at him. He always caught me.
Biting my plump bottom lip with the struggle, my hazel eyes darted to the shoes of every other passenger on board the train. Tattered jeans had slopped mud and water through the passageway, if we weren't careful one of us could easily slip. I turned beet red just thinking of it. Of course it would be me that would slip, right in front of him most likely. Everyone would laugh at me, splayed out in a catastrophic, painful splits across the floor. I'm always embarrassing myself like that somehow.
Shaking the thought from my brutal imagination, I clutched onto the neck of my acoustic guitar for support. It was like my safety blanket. My eyes trailed up his legs now, uncontrollably. They found his belt buckle, his hands and finally his bearded neck. I stopped there, staring at the unruly mess of facial hair. The word rugged came to mind. I have no idea how long I had stayed there, staring at that hair - but I was suddenly forced from my daydream by the lurch of the train at it made to move forward again after another stop. Some of the passengers who had been standing, fell forward and grabbed quickly for something to steady themselves on. They laughed nervously to each other, sharing a joke I just didn't get. In the process of the lurch, he had been jolted forward in his seat and his face, his eyes, now lay perfectly in my line of vision. It took me a second to realize he was staring back at me, his mouth parted in a wicked smile - as though he was trying to share one of those jokes between the other passengers, just with me. I frowned at him, turning to my left and then my right to make sure he wasn't smiling at someone else. No. It was me. He'd smiled at me.
The recording of the train announcing the next stop, his stop, whistled through my ears. He raised from his seat, winked at me slyly and departed the train. He always did. I wondered where he was going, who he was seeing. A girlfriend, a mother, a father? Work?
As always, I drifted away with my imagination which always made him come and plonk himself down in the open seat beside me. He'd introduce himself and we'd fall into easy conversation. Flirtatious conversation. We'd exchange numbers, arrange a date. A real date. One which required me to chuck on a little black dress and do my hair nicely - and he'd see me from across that cloth covered table holding onto a glass of wine and he'd smile at me, thinking, 'wow, she's beautiful.'
Maybe one day... but for now, we were just strangers on a train.