K. Alexandra R.
I sat with him while he waited for the train that would take him south to your house. Our hands were entwined, seeking comfort and warmth. He played idly with the ring on my left hand, looking away before asking me a question.
“Who gave you your ring?”
He was worried about my answer; he always refused to look into my eyes when he wanted to hide his emotions. His eyes were like two windows that displayed every thought behind them.
“My aunt made it for me.”
He turned his head to look at me. He smiled and then looked down at the small ring he was still fiddling with. “It’s beautiful.”
I smiled. He was so relieved by my answer, but it was ridiculous to think about his worry. My possible ring-gifter caused him pain, and yet he said nothing to comfort me about our current location, our current activity even: waiting.
I felt like I was waiting for a train that would never come. But the train to south London was set to arrive in two minutes. His train was almost here. Your train.
He squeezed my hand tightly, looking up at the timetable. His fingers slackened and he wiggled his hand out from underneath mine, reaching to fix the buttons on his coat.
“My train’s almost here…” He stood awkwardly and looked back at me, waiting for me to stand.
It was raining again.
“Thanks for waiting with me.” He reached out to hug me, and I gave him half a hug, not wanting him to feel my pounding heart.
The train roared in, slowing until it finally stopped.
“Right, get home safely,” he smiled.
I nodded blankly.
His eyes showed a confusion at my mood change.
And he realised, but the whistle for the train echoed.
I turned around to walk away, leaving him standing in front of the open train doors. They beeped to notify everyone of their closing, and finally the train started up again.
I held my breath and turned back around.
He was on the 23:18 train to south London. He was on his way to your house, and I just kept his hand warm while he waited.
K. Alexandra R. is a 24 year old PhD candidate at the University of Surrey studying citizenship, identity, and education. She spends most of her time selling soap in a tiny Guildford shop, writing poems on receipt paper, and listening to Schubert’s symphonies.
Featured photo: ‘Soul Deconstruction‘ © Jenny Ondioline