Thursday, 23 January 2014

Journey Planner

I wonder where this girl sitting opposite me is going.

The train's in almost total darkness, the occasional streak of light permeating the tinted windows coming from a house or pub that we pass. The only time we are truly illuminated comes when we pull into a station. This girl (huge glasses, red hair cascading down to her shoulders, unique selection of clothes - a vision of perfection) leans over and asks her neighbour where we are. Her neighbour answers and I listen over the music from my iPod.

I watch the girl looking at her reflection in the glass. Where is she going?

My first thought is that she's going home. To be honest, that's probably where she's actually going. But then, I think, what if she's not? What if she's going somewhere else? London is huge - there are plenty of places to go.

My next suggestion is much more exciting. What if, I reason, she's off for some clandestine rendezvous with a new lover? Maybe this is why she looks so nice - she may be glowing with excitement or trepidation. Maybe it's even the first time she's meeting a lover. Were it me doing so, I would be sure to check my location at every given opportunity, just to make sure I know where I'm going.

She smooths her hair and looks distractedly at her phone (maybe there's an illicit text there?). I tug nervously at my suit. I look like I've come from a business meeting, although to be honest, I have, so that's not unusual. We pull up to a station about halfway through the line and she gets up, almost gracefully, but with a nervous twitch about her. I mouth a silent goodbye and... she's gone.

Why her? I have no idea. But I just got something about her that piqued my interest. Something different. That suggested to me that, perhaps, there's more than she has to tell about her final destination.

London is full of possibilities. Almost enigmatically so. And I like that about it... and the people on the train too.

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