Lessons in Love Chapter 3
He read the same paragraph yet again, unable to concentrate, another glance at the arrivals screen, time seemed to stand still. The fifth visitor to his bench came and went, this one left their newspaper, so he rescued it and flicked through the sports pages. Another look at the screen confirmed no change as another train came and went. Why he was so agitated, heaven knows, the train was not due for another 10 minutes anyway, perhaps the fact he had been there since 5:30pm gave a little clue. The fluorescent digits on the arrivals board rolled over yet again like a trail of domino’s falling in a line. “Shit” he muttered, thrown into confusion as the board spelled out that the 6:15 was due in 2 minutes early. Now what was he to do, the truth was, nothing, there was nothing he could do, but after all this time waiting, the fact it was due early had him in a blind panic, he felt rushed, unprepared. He rose to his feet and paced up and down, not too far you understand, he did not want to lose his prime position on the platform. His palms were moist, he breathed deeply, in through the mouth out through the nose, was the mantra he repeated to himself. Jess, was coming, coming to see him, he felt venerable in his own environment, a vision of her flashed through his mind, he sat down again and afforded himself a little smile, he was calm again.
A normal journey felt anything but, sitting next to the window she had plenty of time to take in the scenery and while away the time, but all eyes were on her. Every glance she took seemed to catch someone square in the eyes, they all had that knowing look, she felt conscious that everyone in the carriage was watching, waiting for the next move that confirm their suspicion. She sat still, sunglasses now covering her eyes hiding her from view, her eyes darted this way and that trying to find a focal point that would not interfere with anyone else’s view. She was desperate for the journey to end and those last few minutes took an age to complete. She knew it was almost over, as bags and luggage started to be arranged in the aisles and the desperate moved towards the exits to ensure they were the first to disembark. She started the journey wanting to be up at the front there with them, now she was almost cowering, so self conscious, sitting motionless as the rush to escape began.
She held back trying to control her urge to escape, the pressure building within this huge metal shaft. The people around her gathered belongings and bags from every conceivable part of the carriage. There was a movement everywhere within, especially in the aisle, increasing the pressure in the tiny tube that ran down the core of this colossal machine. The Train began to slow and the expectancy increased, the quickening rhythmic clatter of the wheels on the track that had conveyed the urgency of the machine to reach its goal, suddenly reduced to a steady stereophonic thump. Baah- Boooom…., Baah- Boooom….., like a heartbeat echoing around a chest, the world had gone into slow motion as the moment to disembark arrived. The slowing, but ever more powerful beats forcing every passenger towards the exit, she could not resist any longer and excitedly joined the throng. Time stopped and the doors were flung open under the impossible crush, passengers spewed out onto the platform, flung far and wide by the f***e of people behind them. Being f***ed along the aisle she felt every bump of the seats as she was squeezed through the narrow space within. Someone struggling with a suitcase at the door would cause the flow to stop, but the unknowing passengers behind would continue to push, increasing the pressure yet again, before they burst from the doors at full f***e yet again. The scenario was repeated over and over until she was finally the last person out, that final trickle that stands at the door to check if the carnage is over, before dropping, spent from the ordeal onto the waiting platform below. She was well aware how sweet the last drop tasted and the effect of catching it on the outstretched platform of her tongue affected him, she hoped he was feeling it now.
He saw the train in the distance, glistening in the dappled sunlight as it bore down towards him. Flashing through the shadows it seemed to throb as it grew bigger, nearing its final goal. He could feel its power as it thundered in to the station, filling the previously empty but wanton chasm, a perfect fit like they were made for each other. Noises filled the air as it came, the whooshing of brakes, the screech of the wheels, the echo of its arrival reverberating around the whole body of the station. Like being at a concert, he felt the music of its arrival throughout his body, the bass gripping at his insides, while the treble tingled at every nerve ending. There was a moment’s pause, as time seemed to stand still before the inevitable release occurred. Although he knew it was coming he was never the less surprised at the sheer volume of passengers that erupted from within. His eyes flashed around the platform like strobes, trying to seek her out as they came forth in droves. He strained skyward on his tiptoes in an effort to keep his head above the crowd, every fibre in his body aching as he tried to cope with the flood that engulfed him. Engulfed in the heat of the crowd he began to drown in his feelings, he could not see her, his eyes continued to flash around the platform, slowing now as the congregation decreased and ebbed away. Still straining on his toes it seemed like a lifetime before his angel finally arrived at the door, his heart exploded with joy as his body cramped from his exertions, he collapsed to his heels, an emotional wreck as she stepped down on to the platform.
They melted into each other’s arms and hugged, about to kiss, they both stopped in unison, aware that they were in public and the eyes of the world were upon them. It was still so wrong but it felt so right, so exciting that they burn with excitement every time one of them spoke. He wanted to get to know her so much more and he felt he could answer whatever she asked. They had all day to share and it was only just beginning.