Beauty Fades From the Train

You stand tall in the train, suspended by a solitary rusty metal chain which you clutch in your worn-out hands. The other grey commuters sit in silence, eyes staring straight ahead at nothing in particular, seemingly without anything to look forward to as they are shunted from point A to point B in their black and white lives.

She sits down in the seat opposite you, in Technicolor, and for a moment you allow your eyes to take her in and your imagination to run wild and free. God, she is beautiful. Her pink hair (you guess it may not be her natural colour) drapes down to her shoulders, carefully styled just enough to not look too unkempt whilst still not detracting from that “Don’t give a damn” persona that you imagine she likes to wear most days.

Her smooth skin is still flush with hope, her lips relaxed into an easy smile which you suspect may be their natural resting state. For a brief moment it seems that her pale blue eyes are looking straight into yours and you allow yourself – just for that brief moment – to vainly dream that she may like what she sees there. It is a temporary respite from your regular routine of fear and self-loathing and a welcome one.

Perhaps this is your cue? Maybe she wants you to speak to her? But what would you say? Words have never been your strong suit.

If a window of opportunity is open, it is closing fast. The train whines and sighs as it pulls into the next station. She stands and brushes past you as she moves to exit your life. Make the most of it – that fleeting touch. It is as close to beauty as you may ever get.

You dare not look her way as she steps down onto the platform. But what if you did? What would you see in those pale blue eyes? Would there be a hint of disappointment perhaps that you hadn’t said something to her or are you indulging a vainglorious fantasy once more?

The train door closes abruptly – harshly snapping you back to reality. Beauty fades from the train – part fanciful but fleeting memory and part cautionary tale of what might have been if only. If only.

You fade back to grey and fix your stare on nothing in particular once more. It’s easier this way. Wouldn’t want to stand out from the rest of the herd after all.

Copyright ยฉ 2015 Philip Craddock. All rights reserved.

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19 thoughts on “Beauty Fades From the Train

  1. It’s a quiet Saturday here and the rain is still falling – Robin is right, what an atmospheric and lovely read! I often watch the coming and going of people in their black & white worlds, I love how you described those people that catch our eye as living their lives in technicolor! Thank you for the follow and I’m happy to follow back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you anotehugette. I’m pleased you like it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Definitely a work of fiction though. Although I share some similarities with the protagonist of the story, it’s far from biographical.

      I did however once see someone on a train that I was really attracted to. The difference in real-life though was that whilst I am a shy person, I plucked up the nerve to talk to her and we ended up dating for about a year. Wasn’t ultimately the love of my life (that would be Phoebe) but it was a fun year. ๐Ÿ™‚

      This story is meant partly as a cautionary tale to hopefully give other shy people like me a gentle push towards saying something rather than never taking a chance.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is so true! Lately, I find myself taking the time to ask for the names of people whom I’ve said “hello” to over the years, often resulting in hugs and sometimes tears. Perhaps by doing so, we change someone’s black & white world into technicolor!

        Like

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