I didn’t notice her board the train. I must have been sleeping at the time, but it’s tough not to notice a woman like that for very long. She had beautiful squinty eyes, perfectly frazzled beige hair, and a long thin nose that looked like a moldy carrot. She was sitting one seat up and across the aisle from me.
What torture! She was too close to ignore, but too far away for me to talk to her. I considered moving up to the seat across from her but there was a man eating a very messy tuna melt sitting there.
I had been staring at the back of her head for about an hour when she finally turned in my direction. I quickly transferred my gaze to the window, afraid to meet hers. But I couldn’t last. My eyeballs slowly started to drift back in her direction. She was still looking at me. This was a good sign.
Nonchalantly I turned back to the window, trying to play it cool. But if she could feel the sweat on my palms and chaos in my lower abdomen, she’d have known I was anything but. Determined to keep the upper hand, I kept staring out the window, until she called after me.
“Excuse me!” she half-whispered in a voice that was a mix between an angel’s song and a person who has been smoking heavily for 50 years.
I was stunned. Unsure how to react, I did nothing.
“Excuse me!” she called once again, this time louder. I had to say something. I put on the suavest grin I could muster, raised my right eyebrow, and turned to my newfound love.
“What can I, uh, ruhsta….you can….”. I looked down at my lap. Not the best of first impressions, but it could have been worse. I looked back at her. Her wrinkled face showed a heavenly blend of irritation and confusion.
“Do you have headphones?” she sweetly cackled.
I shook my head.
“Well, are you going to keep listening to your music out loud?”
Perhaps I had been out been out of the dating game for too long, for never had I come across a flirtation quite like this. I decided to play it smooth.
“You liking this deathcore?” Hook, line, and…
“No. Can you turn it off?”
At this moment, the man in front of me coughed, and particles of tuna and swiss flew from his mouth into the seat next to him. Dodged a bullet on that one. I lowered the volume on my stereo player and smiled. She did not return the gesture. I had to do something, or I might lose her.
“Come here often?” The words dripped out of my mouth like chunky soup.
She furrowed her brow and frowned- lust in facial form. I was in. She then stood up, still looking at me, and backed away slowly into another train car.
This was unnexpected. The man with the tuna melt turned to me and smiled.
“The one that got away, huh?”
I wiped the tuna specks off my face and nodded. He went back to his melt, and I to my deathcore. My heart heavy, I looked back to the window.
I’d be home soon.