White Heart Lane



Day one. Eight-thirty-seven. I am waiting for the tube. Two more minutes until it arrives. The station is crowded. I look for the usual corner. My eyes land on you. I never saw you before. I would remember. I watch you reading. Your smile holds my attention. Peace is all over your face. Solitude fills mine. I stare for awhile. You do not notice me. The tube arrives. You don’t step on board. I decide to miss it.


Day two. Eight-twenty-nine. You are here again. On the same corner. My corner. You do not see me. No one really does. I take two steps to be nearer. The tube will arrive in one minute. You turn. We share a glance. You see my blush. I see your smile. That one is mine. The tube arrives.


Day three. Eight-thirty-four. I look for you. The corner is empty. I panic. You are sitting on the bench. We have three minutes. I take a seat too. I feel like a stalker. I should have stayed in my corner. I want to say something. But, one minute to go. You are distracted by your earphones. The tube is late. Still, you don’t realize I am here. We shared the bench. Twenty minutes and eleven seconds fly. The tube arrives.


Day four. Eight-forty-one. I decide to talk to you. You see me. I get a sentence together. I mean to mumble it. Ups, there is no time. The tube arrives.


Day five. Eight-thirty. I arrive earlier. We both know why. You are here too. Six minutes are enough. You walk in my direction. Twelve seconds it takes. You are almost in front of me. I can detect the colour of your eyes. Hazel. Another tube arrives. People wave from here and there. All the lanes seem to meet here. The tide steps into the middle, the side, the back, the front. It drifts us apart. Three minutes later, I fear. You are not here. Your unique golden hair becomes ordinary. I turn one, two strangers. They are not you. One minute after, I wonder if you exist. It doesn’t matter. The tube arrives. I wait for the second one. Only the bench is here.



Day five. Eight-thirty. I come earlier. So do you. It is my last day here. White hart lane station. You do not know yet. We have six minutes. I want to say something. I am going to. I find my way to you. Until I lose it. Your frame. More and more people arrive. Others are going. We are. There are hugs. ‘Where are you?’. Kisses. ‘I love you’. Tears. Bored ‘yes, mom’. Late phone calls. ‘I’m sorry’. A big jumble of lines and lanes. I hardly find mine. Hardly leaving yours.


Day four. Eight-forty-one. You finally win some courage. I can see your bravery. For about one minute. I truly believe you are going to talk. But the tube arrives. I curse it.


Day three. Eight-thirty-four. You are becoming too obvious. It doesn’t bother me. I forgot my book. Yes, I cursed. My earphones become an excuse. I do not look at you. Ah, you wish! Three minutes. The tube will not take long. You have a seat anyway. I want to take a glance. No. I control myself. We do not share more than this wooden bench. Twenty-three minutes. I forget the seconds, the tube arrives.


Day two. Eight-twenty-nine. I know you are here. I turn. To check the time on the board. You are caught peeking. I smile. With your flush, the tube arrives.


Day one. Eight-thirty-seven. The tube arrives in three minutes. I still have time to read. First page, I see you arrive. Page two, I feel your eyes on me. By the third, I am checking you out. Soon you won’t remember me. But I wonder. I do wonder if you will be able to wish the life I can imagine. The tube arrives. My hope disappears.


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