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3 May 2011

The Girl On The Train

She was already there when I entered the train, occupying the entire square of 4 seats to the left of the door. Dressed in a pair of dark blue skinny jeans, a chocolate brown singlet (that I later found was open at the back, save for 4 buttons that held it up), a coffee brown scarf and dark brown boots, she was reading. Her handbag and shopping were strewn on the aisle seat while she sat at the window seat, her legs crossed at the ankle across the space over the aisle seat in front of her. Occasionally, she operated a little square gadget that might have been a calculator, mobile or a music device. She held a pen in her hand and noticing that the book was fairly bulky, I decided that she might be studying rather than reading.

She looked so much at ease that I could not resist trying the act myself. I did not have as many bags as her. Definitely no suitcase to place on the floor, occupying the only free space between the two double-seats that she had got comfortable in. I merely placed my backpack on the seat next to me (aisle, it was), placed my feet on the window seat in front of me (in case somebody would like to occupy the other aisle seat) and started reading my own little book. Soon, I got engrossed in Paulo Coelho's pilgrimage to find a sword. 

As is evident, I did not have the same cool attitude as Shelly (we'll just call her that, for the sake of the blog). Now and then, I looked up from my book. I could not help stealing a glance at her, I tried to imagine her story. She sat as if she was unaware of her surroundings but I was pretty sure that she was alert. This was confirmed by the slightest hint of a smile that appeared at the corner of her lips when the driver announced the wrong station and quickly corrected himself. My smile stopped half-way as my mind worked overtime, trying to capture everything about this girl who fascinated me simply by her demeanour. 

We had to get off at the next station, to transfer to a bus that would take us to the city. She surprised me with a restlessness that was obvious without being overtly so. She walked towards her bus, asked a few questions and got in. While she was loading her luggage, I got into the bus and found myself a seat not too far from the door but not right next to it. She moved into the first seat and this time, I was not surprised because I had learnt by now that she was one of those people who were constantly in a hurry for no particular reason.

I went back to my book and got off at my stop. I forgot about her as I made my next plans for the evening. The weather was perfect for a day out. I was not ready to go home. That was more pressing than a girl on the train. I never found out her story but the spell was broken the moment the veil of the classy confidence shifted to bare one of slight arrogance.

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