I always get this way in the subway. If I were above ground and not on public transit, I’d feel much better about the city. There are some great parks, a terrific free zoo and terrific food, but I am definitely a fish out of water here. I doubt I’ll ever love big city living.
The rumble of an approaching train vibrated the tunnel. As it got closer, I felt it all through my body. Then a wall of sound overtook everything else as our ride whooshed into the station. Please be my train. Please, please, please. Travelers hurriedly folded their newspapers and stuffed them under their arms or into bags. They pushed closer to the platform edge, some elbowing others aside to gain the perfect position, predators ready to pounce as soon as the doors whooshed open.
The roar and gust of wind of the arriving train used to scare me half to death. I still don’t like it, but I’m used to it I guess. Okay, more used to it. I’ve faced down raging geese, angry roosters and mad bulls more than once, but my first experience of the approaching train was almost enough to make me head for the hills.
The wind of arrival blew back my hair and rocked me onto my heels. I’m a big girl, and I can only imagine the force it must create. Do the trains break the sound barrier? They sure seem like it. The metal monster’s mouths squealed open. It devoured commuters and spat others back out onto the platform. Not my train. Great. More time in the stinky station.
My cell phone vibrated. I looked down at the display. Julie, probably having another crying jag and wanting consolation. I sighed and answered.
“Kass, oh my…news…”
“Hold on, hon. I’m in the subway.” I couldn’t believe the phone even rang down here, where reception wasn’t worth spit.
The bellow of the train and the blurry, canned voice announcing the stop drowned out the call. Once it blew up its tail wind and left, I put the phone back up to my ear. Julie hadn’t stopped talking. She sounded like popcorn bursting with enough enthusiasm to blow the lid clear off the pot, but her voice came out with the same vague vowels as the recorded announcement.
“Sorry Jules, I can’t hear you, but I’m glad something went your way. Talk to you when I get home.”
I could hardly wait to leave the bowels of the city. A few long minutes later, my train blew in with an extended screech of overworked brakes. A pair of green eyes caught mine. They belonged to a hottie squeezing his way off the train. He looked so familiar, but I couldn’t imagine who he might be. He obviously spent time in the gym and was having a terrific day.
My cheeks flushed as I remembered my hair was a windblown mess and my lipstick was probably long gone since I hadn’t freshened it up before leaving work.
Mr. Hottie wore a black suit. Looked like a government agent, maybe FBI. Its starkness clashed with his warmth. His duds looked much too stiff and formal for him, in my opinion. I imagined him in swim trunks and diving into a pool. I’d sure love to rub warm suntan lotion all over him. Who could blame me for daydreaming of summer on a cold November day? My own body obviously liked what my mind dreamed up, because my lady parts got all excited.
Smiling back at me, Mr. Hottie paused to put on the leather coat he had draped over his arm, and then his eyes drank in the whole scene as if he were someplace delightful. I should know better by now, but as he passed me, I couldn’t resist complimenting him.
“You have a great smile.”
Miracle of miracles, he answered me, even making eye contact.
“Thanks.” His smile grew. He looked into my eyes and my stomach fluttered.
Can we please go back in time five minutes so I can whip out my hairbrush and lipstick before this encounter?
Mr. Hottie knew me too. Or maybe my overactive imagination played with me? His expression wore that I Know You from Somewhere look. Then the moment passed as he dashed toward the stairs and up into the blustery night.
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