So I was standing there at the platform of the underground station, nearest to my house. An impatient person, I soon started wondering up and down between the lamppost and another woman who was waiting for the train, just like me. The music that twanged through my earphones made my fingers thrum in the inside of my pocket and made me mumble the lyrics as I performed a whole music video in my head. I must have come across as a complete weirdo and I earned a very dooming look from that lady next to me. But I didn’t care too much about it. I saw the train coming in. I just turned around to roam towards the lamppost and away from the lady, which meant that I could enter the train in a different car than she would.
The train stopped with its break emitting a loud squeaky noise, the doors swung open and closed with another loud beeping noise after I entered. At this time of the day – it wasn’t rush hour anymore, but still quite early – the underground was actually acceptable to use. It was crowded but you had a good chance of getting a seat. And I was lucky enough to spot one on the very left, next to the window and opposite of a very nice looking young man. I stroke off in a determined manner, sat down, pulled my mobile out of my left pocket, and unlocked the home screen. I skipped the song that I was listening to because I felt like something slower and more soul like. And with just one click I changed from loud basses and stimulating rhythms from an unknown artist to “Something in the Water” by Tom Grennan. Not only is he one of my favourite artists anyway but this song just set the mood perfectly right for this greyish and rainy Monday. I pocketed my phone again looked out of the window and enjoyed watching the outside world passing by. As I altered my focus I noticed a light brown leaf – I’m guessing birch – stuck to the glass and a few rain drops, which seemed to race each other against the moving direction.
I had a ride for about 20 minutes ahead of me. Which is actually not too bad for a big city like this to get from A to B. Besides that, I always enjoyed using the underground and all the perks that came with it. I was stunned by the thought of all these different peer groups I encountered on my little journeys. All ages, all sizes, all skin colours, just all kinds of people. And it felt like we were all the same while sharing the space of o single car with each other. Of course you sadly had to witness some drunken teenagers misbehaving, homeless people begging, or people not being respectful to their fellow human beings from time to time. But most of the time I observed kind and attentive people. It made beyond happy to see people of my age offering elderlies their seat or giving directions in case someone was lost or offering help when there was a mother with a pram or someone in a wheel chair. Public transport lives from humanity and respect and every time I saw an act of kindness it made me feel welcome myself and still believe in all those virtues that seem to slowly decline nowadays. It simply made my day.
Those were the profound kind of thoughts that I had while sat on this train. It was definitely more fun to observe one person more closely. Not fun, in a way that I would make fun of them or laugh about them, but I very much enjoyed making up where someone was from, where they might go, what they’d do for a living and what they’d be thinking about while sitting or standing not too far from me.The object of my choice for today’s train ride was this cute guy sitting just in front of me. And don’t judge me, I picked him for several reasons. First: Yes, I admit it, he was totally my type. Second: He was reading! The perfect way to be distracted from noticing a girl that was constantly staring at him. Creepy… And third: He was incredibly likable for his the “The world needs more feminists” button on his backpack that he squished under his arms in order to hold his magazine in the most comfortable way possible. All in all, he scored a solid 8 out of ten on the scale for first impressions.
When I caught a first glimpse on the title of the issue I had to supress a little giggle. He really was reading one of the Archie comics. It made me wonder whether he would chose a Veronica or a Betty kind of girl. Another question that arose was where he was going. He already was on the train when I came in, so he might get off soon, which meant I had to hurry up with my examination. My eyes went from his comic up to his hair and looked at a curly mane of hazelnut brown hair with a slightly red shimmer. Although his strands of hair were pointing in all directions, he still achieved the good looking messy look. Without sounding very shallow, I liked his whole look a lot. Simple pair of jeans, cosy, but stylish trainers, a very expensive looking coat and a simple dark red jumper as far as I could tell. He was also wearing a little silver bracelet that seemed to have an engraving on it, but because of the sleeve of his black coat I wasn’t able to read what it said. The coat and the bracelet were in fact the only posh items I spotted on him. I bet he was wealthy but didn’t let it shine through too much. Very likable, again. He seemed cool, but I kind of had the feeling the he knew how to get what he wanted and that he was very much aware of his good physics. It was a shame that I couldn’t see his eyes properly, since it is common knowledge that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. I imagined a mixture of brown shades so that they would look a little darker than his hair and a little lighter than his bushy, perfectly shaped eyebrows.
I then asked myself what his voice would sound like. I thought a deep, but not too deep, gentle, but rough voice would suit him a lot. Trying to imagine other people’s voices was more difficult than I thought. If I’d ever happen to talk to this guy, I guess I’d probably be surprised. But why do I even care about his voice, I already have enough other voices to worry about in real life. Am I weird for thinking that? Maybe a little. But surely there are other people on this train with more abstract Trains of thoughts. What was he thinking? This question made me realise the fact that he hasn’t caught me staring at him yet. I was positively surprised that I made it as far as two and a half songs, which meant nearly 9 minutes. I usually got caught much earlier and had to bear this awkward “why are you looking at me?”-look and quickly looking somewhere else, like out of the window, down on my phone or just at another person. Sometimes that moment even made me change my victim of choice. However, this wasn’t the case today. Mister “I look so cool, I make every one believe I don’t put much effort into my look, but I actually do”, became even more interesting when he pulled out his smartphone. I assumed he got a text message. His screen was gleaming at his face and after he read the message he galzed out of the window with a smirk on his face. That was my chance to see his eyes properly, because I expected him to look down again in order to reply in just a few seconds. I can’t deny that I almost gasped when I saw his steel blue eyes. It was crazy how much it suited him, although I imagined him to look completely different. Unfortunately my prediction of him looking down again became true, but not to reply. He just locked his phone and put it back in his left pocket. I wondered what kind of message he got? A funny text from a friend, which wasn’t that important to reply to? Or a cute, but kinky message from a girl, that he didn’t feel like answering on a train? Or maybe just his mum? So many questions I would like to know the answer to.
His name would be interesting to know as well. In my opinion he clearly was a Callum. Or a Joey. But now that I saw the blue, and not brown eyes, maybe the Name Adam would be a better fit. Yes, Adam it is.
The clock was ticking and the station where I had to get off at came closer and closer and I was already on song number 4 now. This made the question where he was going coming up again. On the one hand he was dressed in a smart but casual way, so maybe he was going to work at an international company or a start-up business. Quite frankly though, his rucksack must have seen better times, and the buttons might suggest that he is a student, just like me. Three more stops to go for me.
Adam, as I shall now call him like that, started to look at the screen above our heads where there was shown the next stops and what time was. Maybe he would get off soon as well. I secretly hoped so. It was 10.42 am and the train stopped again. Doors swung open, a couple people left and quite a few entered. I heard the loud beeping noise, the doors made when they closed and the train took off again. Two stops to go.
Adam was still reading his Archie comic, in fact almost finished it. He again looked at the screen, but sadly didn’t deign to look at me. I was really hoping to have eye contact with him and maybe give him a little smile if I felt brave enough. I just remembered the adorable smirk he had on his face a few minutes ago and I wished I could see it again. One stop to go.
I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket. And as much as I would have loved to keep on staring at Adam, I pulled my phone out and saw the message from my best friend, saying, that she was already at the station, waiting for me. Although it was only 2 minutes until I would see her, I quickly unlocked my screen and typed “Okay, cu in a minute hun.”. While I did that I, unfortunately, didn’t notice that Adam had closed his comic and shoved it back in his bag. I did the same with my phone and as I looked up and attempted to stand up, I realised that he was just about to do the same. That could have been a very awkward crash, but he decided to keep his seat for a little longer, gave me the smirk that I so desperately wanted to see again and said: “After you”. His voice was not as deep as I imagined it, but it was absolutely adorable. Thanks for making my day Adam.
Laura was listening to “Something in the Water” by Tom Grennan and several Songs by Raleigh Ritchie, while writing this short story.