I did a piece a while ago, ‘The one that got away’ , and decided to tweak the story and ending a bit. Hope it worked!
He smiles as he gets on his feet, offering her his seat, and moves towards the doors. She looks haggard, and gratefully accepts with a smile in return. She puts down the large shopping bags with a tired sigh. He continues to look at her, without meaning to or realising. She gives him the smallest of smiles and looks out the window.
He wonders what she’s thinking. What are all those shopping bags for? Gifts for loved ones or a much needed shopping spree for herself? She would make a good mother, he thinks. He smiles as he has a random thought of her entering multiple shops and walking out with assistants trailing behind with bulks of those obnoxious shopping bags found at the most exclusive ’boutiques’. He stifles a laugh as he can’t imagine this toned-down, ordinary version of her doing that. He stares at his feet, still smiling. She would age well.
She can see his reflection in the tinted window, and wonders why he’s still staring at her, with the same smile glued on his face. She turns and sees him staring at his feet. He has kind eyes, she thinks. She wonders what he’s doing on this train at this time of day. Perhaps going to meet or pick up a loved one? A business meeting? He is certainly dressed smart, it could be either. For some reason she pictures it is her he has come to pick at the station, and when she gets off the train he runs towards her and grabs her tightly, not wanting to let go and they kiss passionately. Not caring who is watching, lost in their own world. She snaps out of her reverie and realises now she has the smile plastered on her face and is staring at him funny. He would age well. She looks out the window to hide further embarrassment of making eye contact.
He can feel her gaze on him, but doesn’t dare to look up and make eye contact, as if confirming the fact that they are both aware of the attraction between them. More curiousity than attraction. He wonders how it would matter anyway, nothing would come of it.
She sees his reflection staring at her again, and this time darts her head quick enough to catch his blue eyes on her. He smiles, unembarrassed and unashamed to be caught staring. She smiles back, a fuller, brighter smile and wishes the journey didn’t take so long. What was she thinking? This wouldn’t matter. Nothing would come of it. She knows this would be one of those ‘what if’ moments she’d store and file away in her memory, and refer to when she was thinking of nothing in particular.
Next stop, the train stops. He hopes this is her stop too, as he gets off as soon as the doors open, without looking back, just in case she saw his disappointment. It would be such a shame to leave it hanging like this.
She hopes it’s his stop too, as she begins to gather her shopping bags, but when has hope ever been enough to change the course of actions of others?
He walks slowly towards the exit barriers at the station, hands in pockets, deep in thought.
She gathers her bags and manages to leave the train just as the doors close, and in her hurry, does not notice he is no longer on the train. She heads towards the barriers.
He hears the rustling of bags, like someone struggling to hold and walk with them at the same time. He turns around…
She bends and picks up the one bag that has decided to elude her clutch and looks up.
He smiles at her. “Hey.”