SHORT STORY: A Stranger On The Jubilee Line

I saw you at the station right before you jumped on the train. You were dressed in a suit even though it was ninety degrees outside. You looked pretty serious like you had an important meeting to get to, but you saw something on your phone that made you smile. The smile radiated through your entire body and I saw a different person than the one you initially presented.

The next stop was announced and I prayed you weren’t getting off. I was glad when you didn’t move towards the door but into the cabin instead and found a seat that happened to be right beside me. As soon as you sat down, your perfume filled the air and it smelt so good, I was tempted to tell you.

I kept this to myself and stared at your hands, legs, and shoes instead since you were sat beside me and your face was out of the question.  I could tell you were clean and courteous with your clean fingernails, shiny shoes, and perfectly ironed pants. Your shoe size should be between a size 10 and 11 and you certainly have an expensive taste with that watch on your hand.

I couldn’t bring myself to say anything to you for the next two stops but I was invigorated by your presence and couldn’t think of anything else besides you. You stood up suddenly and I opened my mouth wide because I knew that meant you were getting off at the next stop. I contemplated standing up too so our eyes could meet but I was shy and it wasn’t my stop.

I watched the carriage doors open wishing you wouldn’t leave and turned around and watched as you walked towards the exit of the station. Then I thought to myself “that was a snack”.

Mariam Shittu

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