I still can’t believe it happened. Even now I wonder if I dreamt the whole thing. If it did happen, then surely it would have made the news somewhere? But then, just because they have cameras, it doesn’t mean that there’s always someone watching them.
It started with a half day off work. It was Friday and I had some leave to use up, so I thought I may as well. I left the office a little after one o’clock and walked to Oxford Circus. I got on the tube to head back home. Even at that time of day the carriage was half full, but I found a seat anyway.
I was never much for reading on the tube, nor playing games on my phone, which seemed to be the modern pastime, so I was mostly occupied with my own thoughts for the weekend. On the way into Liverpool Street the woman next to me stood up and got off and the next set of passengers fought their to the many empty seats.
I’m not usually one to be so obvious, but I just couldn’t help myself from staring as a beautiful Asian girl stepped into the carriage. If I had to put money on it, I might have said she was of Bangladeshi descent, or maybe north India or Pakistan.
But regardless of where she or her parents might have been from, her skin was a wonderful golden brown, her hair long and dark, and her eyes large and mysterious, to my eyes at least. I’d guess she was in her early twenties, so just a couple of years younger than me. She caught me staring at her and I saw a hint of a smile. I instantly looked away in terror, and then tensed up as she continued towards me.
I sat rigid with my elbows perched on the armrests as she continued to approach. She passed in front of me and I tried not to stare at her slim legs, long and lithe beneath a pair of shorts. She stepped carefully down the aisle and then, to my horror, she sat down beside me. I kept my eyes locked dead ahead but a frisson passed through me when her arm brushed against mine as she sat down. It wasn’t even her arm, just the fabric of her jacket, but I trembled as it touched me.
As the tube pulled out of the station and into the darkness of the tunnel I remained motionless, concentrating on my breathing and on not turning my head, or even my eyes, to the side to take another look at this gorgeous woman beside me. Looking dead ahead I tried to make out her face reflected in the window. I don’t know if it was my peripheral vision filling in the gaps, or the dimness of the reflection in the glass, but I would have said that she was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.
At the next two stops more people got off and only a few got on. I don’t think I moved a muscle the whole time; I just couldn’t think how to without being unnatural. My heart was beating hard in my chest.
The girl crossed her legs and I couldn’t help but turn my head and stare at the smooth, lean thigh and the gently curved calf that now bobbed as the carriage rocked from side to side. Realising how obvious it was that I was staring at her, I looked avidly in the other direction, as if I was checking which stop we were at, and then I set my eyes directly forwards again. I snatched a glance at the girl’s reflection again, and then I froze as I found her eyes looking into mine. I wasn’t sure if it was the distortion of the glass, but I thought I detected a smile again. Oh, how I wished I could think of anything to say to her, but instead I kept my eyes locked on my own reflection. I felt like she was watching me the whole time, but I dare not look to check.
At Mile End and Stratford the train emptied yet further, and by Leytonstone there was no-one else in the carriage. Such are the patterns of commuting in London that sometimes, this far out of the centre, trains can be almost entirely empty in the middle of the day, yet in a few hours you wouldn’t be able to cram a single extra person in.
Suddenly, her head turned towards me and my head snapped round to meet her eyes. She smiled and I felt my face glow.
“Is this a Hainault train?” she asked me. She had a beautiful, soft voice, and her full lips articulated every syllable. I wanted her to speak again, just so I could watch her mouth move.
“Erm, yes, I think so… I hope so…” I said in not much more than a mumble. “Woodford via Hainault, I think.” If it wasn’t a Hainault train then I needed to get off it. I hoped it was, and that she would stay on it for a while longer.
She smiled again and I felt my chest tighten. “That’ll do. Thank you,” she said as my eyes lost focus.
I tried to smile back, and then I recognised the kindly, compassionate smile I had seen in many a girl’s eye before. It was a smile that meant I was nice, but I wasn’t the type of guy to flirt with. I hadn’t expected anything else: she was way out of my league.
As the train bounced along I could feel every movement she made in her seat. The entire time she’d been sitting there I’d moved nothing except my head, and I felt that to move my elbows off of the armrest now would seem odd. So I remained sat in the same position, both enjoying and being made uncomfortable at the same time by the touch of her jacket against my forearm with the movement of the train over the tracks.
Then, I almost started as she leant forwards to stand. I hoped she wasn’t getting off at the next stop as she walked towards the carriage doors. I was about to remind her of her bag which was still on the floor in front of her seat, although I was tongue-tied as I watched her legs stride down the aisle. But, as she reached the door that connected to the next carriage she reached across and tried to open the sliding window. It was stiflingly hot in the tube network, even now that we were mostly above ground. I had put the feeling of heat down to her presence beside me, but it seemed it was genuinely warm.
I realised I should have offered to help, but instead I stared at her thighs, her toned calf muscles, her thin ankles and her small, delicate feet wrapped in tiny, short-heeled strappy sandals.
The window slid down and I quickly turned my head forwards again, anxious to show I’d not been staring at her. But, despite trying to keep my eyes locked on the scenery now passing by the window, I couldn’t help my peripheral vision from taking all my attention as she stepped back up the aisle towards me. As she turned her back to sit down I took another glance down at her wonderful, golden legs. For a second, with no-one in the carriage and while she was facing away from me, I could just stare.
I was ready to look away as soon as she sat down, but first she slid her jacket off of her shoulders and shook it down her arms, pulling at the cuff. I let my eyes wander across her neck and shoulders, allowing myself to take in her beautiful, smooth skin. She was wearing a vest top beneath the jacket. It was tight with thin straps and it clung to her narrow waist. I felt my pulse quicken again. She folded her jacket in half and, once she was seated, she put it and her bag onto the now empty seat on the other side to her from where I was sitting.
It would have been perfectly normal for her to move seats at that point, to give her more space around her, especially in this heat. People were always moving to free space on the tube, and it was unusual that she’d stayed where she was in the empty carriage. Part of me wished she had moved, but most of me was glad she hadn’t.
As sat down my eyes flicked towards, and then away from, the perfect cleavage that I was looking down and across at. It was much more pronounced than I would expect from a girl as slim as she was, and I could see why guys fall for girls so easily. As she sank into her seat her arm brushed against mine and she surely must have felt my muscles tense. My hairs stood on end and my breath faltered a little. I hoped it wasn’t too obvious, but as her head turned towards me and I glimpsed a smile play across her lips and I realised it was exceedingly obvious.
The air now rushing into the carriage was doing nothing for the heat and my mouth was dry. Then, I felt her move again, and I dared not turn my head. But out of the corner of my eye I saw her reach down at the hem of her vest top, her arms crossed over each other. And then, I couldn’t believe what I thought I was seeing, she pulled it up and over her head. I stopped breathing and I glanced quickly at her as she pulled the top up and over her arms and then dropped the small ball of fabric into her bag. Beneath, she was wearing a black lace bra. It was all I could do not to stare at the soft, smooth brown skin of her chest.