Sounds of people’s steps rushing up and down the stairs.
From the speaker, a lady told us that a train would arriving soon.
I held my tote bag closer.
Train arrived and opened the door.
Inside my mind, I chanted along the sound emitting from the train speaker, asking people to be careful with their steps.
And that doors are closing.
Another morning. Another peak hour rush.
I glanced around me, searching for a familiar face.
Couldn’t find it.
I felt a pang of disappointment.
I was putting my earphone on, thinking maybe listening to my favorite songs would make me feel not so despondent, when someone running towards the door and jumped inside exactly before the door closed.
He landed with a thud!
Very close to me, palms still on his knees.
His breath heavy.
I stood still, still overcoming my own shock.
Slowly, he raised his head and stand straight.
And then, he smiled.
Like a sparkling-light-bulb smile.
A smile that left me stunned.
Time was broken at the moment.
It was dysfunctional.
It was mummified.
How come such warm smile could froze me, I didn’t really understand.
“Sorry. That must startled you.”
And he held on to the pole I was also holding on.
That was it.
The face I was looking for.
I was still standing breathlessly. Imprinting his voice. His smile. Into my mind.
It’s been a few months now, every workday morning, I would try to find him among the crowd.
I didn’t know what drew me in.
Probably his gorgeous face.
Or the way his musky perfume scent evaporated into the air and left behind a whiff.
Or the electric sparkle I felt whenever I saw him.
I felt my days are brighter when I found him on the same train with me.
And for a short 10 minutes, I was content by looking at him.
Even only a glimpse.
Even only a part of his head in flood of people inside the train.
I would recognize his hair.
His side look.
His chiseled jaw.
His eyes staring intently to his phone.
Or the way they sometimes just staring out of the window.
I said, trying so hard not to stutter.
And he smiled again.
I believed I was sweating visibly now.
Because I felt feverish.
Now would be a good chance for me to ask for his number.
No, not his number.
Baby steps, I reminded myself.
I didn’t have to rush.
Or should I?
What would he thought if I asked his name?
Should I introduce myself first? Would that be weird?
My heart was still beating so fast I was worried it would get overdrive and I would drop dead.
What would be his name?
Would it suit him?
Wait, I never thought about this before, but was he even single?
He might be married. Or engaged. Or in a serious relationship.
Or none of the above.
God, I would never know if I did not start asking his name.
Wait no, I should tell him my name and let him tell me his name, instead of asking him his name out of nowhere.
Or probably I should make small talks first.
Yes, that would be good.
Maybe about the weather.
No, that’s lame.
About the train crowd?
I looked up and tried to muster up my courage when the train speaker announced that we would soon arriving at his station.
I swallowed my words.
His eyes darted up from his phone screen to the train door.
And moved to me.
I swallowed again, literally this time.
A smile that light up the world.
Slowly he made his way to the door.
And so, I tell myself again,
Repeated the same words I’d told myself these past few months.
Next time I would ask him his name.
Or even his number.
Yeah, next time I would.