He was in a hurry and ran down the metro stairs ignoring the loud clomping of his feet each time they made contact with the tough concrete floor. Not able to catch the 8:50 train will mean a third late in office leading to half a day of leave deduction.
He ran like a maniac, sailed past the metro security and now stared at the final 100 steps before he could reach the platform.
The train had reached and he knew he had to be quicker than the alighting passengers or risk remaining stuck on the stairs. Another final sprint, this time a little careful as there were people climbing up as well will take him closer to the train.
He sneaked past the incoming crowd, walked sprightly after reaching the platform and somehow was able to push himself inside, just seconds before the doors closed.
Heaving a big sigh of relief, he was pleasantly surprised to find a relatively empty train. Not able to believe what he saw; he checked his watch and the blinking light on the route map to make sure he caught the right one.
The search for a comfortable spot to stand inside the train commenced after the confirmation of being in the right train.
He removed his bag to place it in between his legs and leaned back on the train wall. As he began retrieving his earphones from the bag, his eyes met with the passenger sitting on the opposite side.
She probably had been looking for a little longer and as their eyes met, she quickly broke the eye contact to look elsewhere.
She was impeccably dressed in formals as her shapely blazer accentuated her thin frame. The hair was tied in a neat bun but her eyes seemed lost.
He was smitten in the first glance but could not gather enough courage to gaze and continued trying to steal a glimpse in the garb of putting something inside the bag or retrieving from it.
He finally put on his earphones and their eyes met again, briefly, however, he couldn’t hold longer and ran them back to the screen of his mobile.
When he looked up again, she had her eyes closed.
He however still needed an excuse to look at her; the sudden movement of a passenger, someone getting up, or speaking on the phone, reaching to the point of even concocting imaginary triggers as excuses to get a sneak peek.
He had to deboard at the last station and was expecting she would do the same.
The next station is MG Road, announced the PA system inside the train as people began walking towards the door.
Her eyes opened abruptly, her sideways glanced confirmed his eyes fixated on her. A subtle smile suddenly appeared on her face as she got up to leave.
He was clueless, having assumed she would leave at the last station.
She was standing close to the doors, intentionally trying to be busy on her phone as he struggled, vacillating between his desire of staying back and getting down. This would be his third late, he suddenly recollected.
People began disembarking as the train screeched to a halt, she somehow continued to stand while making quick touch and go glances towards him.
Finally, she decided to leave, her feet reluctantly began moving forward as he continued standing looking at her undecided on what to do.
The door was about to close as she took the final step outside lazily, as if still waiting for him to move.
The maniacal run resumed as he ran towards the door. It was about to close when he somehow pushed his entire body outside.
The bag though got stuck between the doors as the train began moving. The passengers inside gestured to take care of it while asking him to retrieve it at the next station.
Suddenly he found himself wrapped with thick feelings of idiocy, embarrassment and weirdness.
He continued to stand in that position slipping into a temporary stupor thinking about his weird act of foolishness.
‘Let’s get your bag’.
He was surprised to hear these words and turned around quickly to find out who it is.
She was standing behind waiting for him, and as their eyes met, they couldn’t control from slipping into an uncontrollable smile. Getting down wasn’t so foolish after all, he thought as they waited for the next train.