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Beauty On A Train

It was late one night as I was coming home on the train. I had just gotten off of the evening shift and was heading home. Since I was really tired it had really annoyed me when I had to run to catch the train. I'd had a really bad day. For two days I'd been nursing a bad cold and fever while at the same time going back and forth between work and some projects I'd been working on at home. In all honesty I had stretched myself too thin as I am wont to do. For weeks I had been on a decline as far as energy went and I had been getting pretty depressed working at a job that I simply was not suited for.

As I sat there on the train, all I could do was think. Some kids were making some noise at the other end of the car but I didn't pay it much notice. Every now and then, my eyes would close for a moment or two and I would quickly wake myself up so I wouldn't miss my stop. I'd been out of college for about four months and I still couldn't find a decent job. Getting my degree, I thought I would be able to get a really nice job and pay off all my loans. Unfortunately, about two months before I graduated my industry of choice had fallen apart and suddenly there was very little work. Any of the good jobs went to people who had years of experience.

Looking around the train car was the only way to keep myself awake. There were always ads up on the wall so I'd scan them occasionally and pretend to be reading them. Every now and then I'd think about taking my book out my bag and reading it but I knew if I tried to my eyes would get too sore and I might be forced to close my eyes again. Every couple of minutes I had to take out my Kleenex and wipe my nose. Over the past couple of days, I had blown my nose so much the skin around my nose was starting to crack and bleed. I felt like trash. I probably looked like it too.

Just as I was about to fall asleep the train came to its next stop and in walked an incredibly beautiful girl. She couldn't have been more than 20 and she had curly shoulder-length black hair. She had an absolutely gorgeous roundish type of face with a little button nose and long eyelashes that made me almost gasp. She was pale as you would expect a redhead to be and she exuded an aura that I can only describe as innocence. I'll admit I have a tendency to put women on a pedestal but I don't think I had ever seen a girl that beautiful before.

As she walked past me, our eyes met for a split second before I realized I was staring at her. I looked away quickly because I didn't want her to think I was some kind of weirdo. She sat across from me but a little bit off to my left. We were the only two people on that end of the car. She started to read a book and every now and then, I couldn't help but look over at her. I really don't think she saw me looking at her once in a while. Every time she finished a page, her head would tilt to the opposite position and she'd get a thoughtful look in her eyes. It was clear to me that she was very engrossed in her book. It almost seemed like she wasn't even there; like she was in whatever world she was reading about. She was beautiful.

The whole time I sat there I almost forgot I was sick. Every now and then, I had to wipe my teary right eye but other than that, all I could think about was what she must be like. Exhausted, and still almost falling asleep, I imagined she must have a dog and a little brother and that she wrote poetry when she was alone. Every time I looked at her, it became more difficult to look away. One time she brushed her black hair out of her face and I practically fell in love with her for it.

After a while, I started to think about talking to her. What could it hurt? She might think I was a creep for one thing. Me, the runny-nosed, teary-eyed punk who looked like he hadn't slept in a week. Then I thought to myself that she seemed too nice to think that way. I contemplated how I would start a conversation with her. Should I take interest in the book she was reading? Maybe I should feign ignorance about the train system and ask her for directions. I was so tired but my thoughts were running at a rapid pace knowing that she was only a few feet away from me. For a moment, I had to close my eyes to stop from staring at her. I kept getting afraid that she would catch me staring at her.

Soon I realized that my stop wasn't that far off and I got anxious. Worried that I would have to get off before I spoke to her I blurted out, "What's that you're reading?" She looked up at me, realized that I was talking to her, and smiled. It was one of those pleasant little smiles. She didn't show any teeth or anything, her mouth was closed, but I could tell she was pleased that I had asked. "Great Expectations." And with that, I smiled and said, "Good book." It really is by the way. She smiled again and continued to read. When she had spoken, I could've sworn that something clicked in my head as if I had heard that voice before, or maybe had wanted to have heard it before. Her voice was soft. I would even describe it as almost airy. I imagined that she was a very good singer and wondered what it would be like to have her sing to me.

For a little while, I contemplated talking to her again but, while I wanted to hear that wonderful voice again, I couldn't bring myself to take her away from the book that she seemed to adore so much. Having read it before myself, I wondered what part she was reading and tried to figure it out by how far along she seemed to be. Soon I noticed that mine was the next stop and I started to become terrified; afraid that I might never see or speak to this girl again. I thought maybe I should tell her how stunned I was by how beautiful she was. I figured it couldn't hurt. When the train was nearing my stop, I stood up and walked to the doors that were right next to her.

I looked at her and said, "Excuse me." She looked up and smiled again. I almost couldn't breathe. "I'm about to get off but before I do…", I had to pause and catch my breath. She was staring right at me now. I continued, "I just have to tell you that you are one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen in my life and I know guys probably tell you that all the time but I really felt it was important for me to say." Nothing. Her mouth opened just a little and she had an absolutely shocked look on her face. For a moment, I thought she might slap me or something. But then, just when I started to feel really embarrassed, the shock turned into the slightest smile. "This is my stop too.", I heard that beautiful voice say. And she stood up. She came and stood next to me, still smiling. The top of her head reached up to about my nose and I thought that if I wasn't sick that her hair would smell great. All I could do was stare into her eyes and smile like a fool but I didn't care. We got off the train together and she took my hand. She told me her name and I told her mine. She told me that she hadn't even been reading her book that whole time. She'd been turning the pages, pretending to read it, while every time I closed my eyes she would look over at me. She said that I looked like a nice person to her and then she asked me to walk her home. Of course I said yes and on our walk we talked and exchanged phone numbers. She told me that if I didn't call her that she would call me. I walked her to her door and she kissed me on the cheek, telling me that she would talk to me tomorrow.

When I got home I had several messages on my answering machine and the last was from her. Her message said that she was really happy to have met me and that she hoped we could meet again sometime soon and that, in any case, she would call me the next day. She did call, and we did meet again. I've loved her since that night.