London Underground, where you are destined to either lose your wallet, your sanity or a heartbeat.
Millions of Londoners use this mode of public transport on a daily basis; while its day job is to help people commute, this fast, well-connected and foul-smelling service also plays cupid ever so often.
She sprinted towards the closing doors at a torturous pre-dawn hour.
Beep Beep Beep. Mind the Gap. Beep Beep Beep.
With the newspaper stained with her lukewarm hazelnut latte and an outfit too bulky to move in, she questioned why she’d chosen London to serve as the geographic location for the next chapter of her life. Wearing clothes in this city is equivalent to partaking in Sumo wrestling with a ski gear on. This morning’s Alexander McQueen leather jacket was now kissed with little droplets of soy milk too. Brilliant!
She flipped the now-caffeinated pages of Metro to her favourite section of the newspaper; ‘Virgo’ read: “There may be an unexpected turn of events today; either at work or social life. Look for signs and you’ll find the key to what looks like a happily ever after”.
She sighed. Another rubbish vague reading; no one is as good as Susan Miller.
**Next station is Notting Hill Gate. Mind the gap.**
The doors opened. He walked in with a beaming smile and her heart, subsequently, stopped beating.
Roughly 5″9, late-20s, deep brown eyes, great hair, perfect teeth, professionally dressed, well-cut suit, (thick) woollen tie, the shirt inside looked ironed, pants complemented the arse, polished Italian leather shoes.
The New Yorker and WSJ tucked in his lush laptop bag. All Apple devices in hand. A pair of Tom Ford reading glasses also peeping from his coat’s pocket.
A man with style, intellect and good taste, who isn’t afraid to smile at strangers pre-sunrise. Perfect doesn’t do justice.
She couldn’t stop staring at this human form of perfection. He noticed the stare and looked in her direction. Their eyes met, his smile grew a little wider and her lips bended the right way too. Those seductive eyes, that mischievous grin and that intriguing look made her want to rip his clothes off his, what seemed a looked-after, body. This was getting all too much for 6:54am.
She felt her cheeks turning beetroot red. “Must go holidaying with him to Croatia, this summer. Or maybe even Spain. Spain would be able to handle his sexiness. The kids should get his hair, and nose, that would be nice,” she thought.
His lips quivered and her lashes fluttered; it was lust at first sight. They maintained the stare long enough; he undressed her with his almond-shaped eyes and she let him. No grumpy school teacher or an underslept banker on that train could stop this ongoing eye seduction in carriage #3 of the Central Line.
**Next station is Queensway. Mind the gap.**
Newspapers ruffled, footsteps stomped around, commuters shuffled and the eye contact was lost. While she came to terms with the idea of how this beautiful being just took her ‘meh’ morning away, he took the leap out of the train. She looked up in his direction for an approval but he was gone.
Her eyes danced around the compartment, only to find no recipient on the other end.
She couldn’t stop thinking about that smile. It was shameful as to just how much importance she was giving to this nobody whose face made her heart sing like Norah Jones. She thought of how beautiful that crimpson-hued tie looked against his olive skin. His smile, oh that smile, she wondered how many hearts has it broken? Falling in love with strangers was her weakness, and she had let it happen once again. Will she ever learn to cocoon her heart? Surely a person gets a certain number of blind loves per lifetime, and this well-dressed-Notting-Hill bloke had, ‘in an unexpected turn of events’ ticked off another one for her.
Damn that horoscope. She had to track him down and have him in her life (or even her bed).
With a deep red lipstick nestled on her lips, freshly blow-dried hair bouncing behind her and a napkin, scribbled with her name and number, in hand, she hopped on the train.
Hopeful. Vulnerable. Happy.
Virgo said something insignificant about money and loan matters. She ignored it. Her eyes scanned through the page of the tabloid and there it was – in the ‘Rush Hour Crush‘ section, a declaration of lust, for Leah:
“To the lady in the McQueen leather jacket on the Central line at 6.50am; Starbucks cup said ‘Leah’, you look like Kim Kardashian. We had a moment. I want to bound you, to me. Coffee with your Kanye?“
“Coffee with your Kanye”, she re-read. “A man with that face… that smile, that sense of style, calls himself ‘Kanye’.”
Stunned, disappointed and angry, Leah wiped her red pout with the napkin, tied her hair into a ponytail and typed into Google – How to not look like Kim Kardashian.