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.

In the tube

There he is sitting in the tube, Netsky the late night presence pounding the whole way to the bar, at about the same time he began to think about going there for a beer. In fact, he has finished it. Maybe he will have a second one, he wonders, as he happily heads to the tube station, after the third. There are one hundred students, sitting not far from him, not completely awake but awake enough to take some notes on what is being explained, awake enough due to the hanging earphones while he sips coffee between a bright conversation. Did he listen the whole song? Can’t really tell. What matters is: Did he enjoy the conversation? Was the coffee cold? Or even had one? This he is wondering on his way home from a tiring lab’s class. According to chemistry alcohol is a solution, so to the bar he heads, checking his facebook, while asking for a beer. The music there is good, ‘so was the company’ plays on his mind with ‘Puppy’. Time seems to be moving fast, as indeed it is, except when he is on that class. Someone calls his name, he goes for a coffee for a couple of hours before studying a bit, or a few beats from the song on the bar. An exam tomorrow, a few hours without closing his eyes tonight. Another coffee is welcomed, maybe next week he will visit is hometown. Students fill the tube on his way to uni, another class. Before the last stop he realizes, can’t really remember when he last slept, he thinks rubbing his eyes and getting ready for the organic chemistry class. And before understanding why, there he is again, sitting in the tube.


The two lamps near her window were off, due to some constructions on the street. The noise wasn’t a problem. The lack of light was. It annoyed her at first. She couldn’t observe in detail the group of drunk people shouting, nor the shade of a sleeping homeless. She wondered about him. The homeless. That one in specific. He never bothered anyone, never asked for anything. He just sat there, in the usual place. Alone. With every possible reason not to be okay. Yet, he smiled. A genuine, even smile. She had passed him two times already. Not that he would probably notice, at least that was what she thought. It wasn’t planned, but right before crossing his path for the third time in less than one hour, she realized he would see her a fourth. On her way back home. When she came back he didn’t even moved the pleading cup to her, only his eyes. She kneeled before him. ‘Would you like a doughnut?’. A whispered ‘yes’ between a smile conquered her. Completely. She ended giving him the full bag. Totally out of the plan. He didn’t need to thank her. Again, he surprised her with his ‘Merci’. Lighter than a feather she flied home, licking the sugared fingers of the only doughnut she was happier than ever to have. This memory brought another one, and another one. The saddest. While crossing a busy bridge, in a very beautiful day. A homeless was writing in a piece of paperboard ‘Smile, There are worse things in life. Just look at me’. She remembers everyone stopping. Reading it. No words, but looks of pity were shared. Tears quickly spread in her eyes. She couldn’t possibly know back then. But she did now. The worse things in life are not things. They are people and their absence. And feelings upon feelings and the invisible expedition to make them disappear. The silver lighted moon perfectly filled her blank stare. Near the tree was a shadow. A figure. It was a person, perhaps a creation of her mind. She didn’t know for sure. But in her head, it held her tears. And in that moment she wasn’t alone. Time to close the curtains to finally fall asleep, in the imaginary embrace. Of the creation of her own mind.