the girl on the underground | creative writing

2017, lifestyle, photography, student, travel

He was dressed all smart, headphones in his ears like everyone else – he didn’t even need to think about his route to work and back anymore because he did it every day. But this time he was staring at the message on his phone – tears silently running down his face because the words he’d never wanted her to say were staring back at him from the screen, with no provocation whatsoever.

He didn’t know what to do – he nearly missed his stop to change to a different line on the underground and he felt like he was being pushed along by the crowd of people rushing to get home to dinner.

Another escalator, another flight of stairs, another train, another tear as he took another longing glance at the text he couldn’t reply to yet.

Part of him didn’t want to leave the underground – if his phone couldn’t reconnect to the outside world he’d never have to reply to that text or make the corresponding phone call or have that argument. He could just ride the train till the end of the line then ride it all the way back.

But he couldn’t – he had to walk his dog and make dinner and go to sleep so he could do all this again tomorrow. Hopefully without repeating the text.

He got off the underground at his stop, slowly meandering amongst the other commuters, staring at his phone.

“Excuse me! Sir! You dropped your ticket!” He heard, someone breathlessly tapping on his shoulder behind him.

He turned to see the short girl in the oversized coat, her poker straight hair falling out of the ponytail that secured it and a faded red lip smiling at him after a day of wear.

But her face dropped and instantly moulded into an expression of concern. “Are you okay?” She asked.

He was frozen, he realised he wasn’t saying anything – he was just loosely holding the ticket she’d handed him in his hand.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked – who’d tell a stranger why they were crying on the underground? Sorry, hope your day gets better.” She fumbled.

“No,” He instantly responded, grabbing her wrist as she tried to walk past him and she stopped without reluctance. “Sorry, just been dumped after four years by text.” He blurted. “Wow, that was pathetic.”

“No, it’s not, you’re allowed to be heartbroken.”

“I don’t know why I told you.”

“I have one of those faces; people trust me with stuff.” She shrugged; she exuded this positive, happy mood with her dishevelled, messy hair and her biker boots and that smile that just didn’t seem to stop nagging at the corner of her lips.

“That doesn’t mean you always want to hear it.” He replied after a few moments silence – his brain wasn’t quite processing a full capacity and he could stop noticing her little smile.

“It’s alright. Do you have a train to catch?” She asked.

“Yeah.” He sighed.

“Why are you still standing here then?” She seemed genuinely intrigued.

“I don’t know.”

“I think you should text her back.” She smiled again, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a card. “Give it a few weeks, maybe a month or two. Don’t rush anything. You’ll be okay.”

Four months later he found out her husband had left her that day.

They didn’t often travel by train.


Hello!

I started writing this post when I was commuting in and out of London every day, but then I was home handling a family emergency and I couldn’t even think about blogging, but I didn’t want the post to go to waste so I finished it off and uploaded it today!

I was doing another journey home anyway so it was fitting that I wrote the beginning of the story on a train and finished it there true. I’m pretty done with trains, but they’re the only way I can really get home so I haven’t got much of a choice.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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commuting to London

2017, lifestyle, travel

Hello!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I was commuting into London and I’m really glad to not be travelling by train every single day anymore, but it was a really interesting experience and I thought I’d share a few tips on how to survive commuting in London (or any other city!), because it definitely took a bit of getting used to.

1) Be ready to sit next to a stranger, if you get to sit at all – morning rush hour trains are busy, everyone wishes they had two seats to themselves but it’s never going to happen at that time of day. The person next to you cares about you as much as you care about them; they don’t, so just get on with whatever you’re doing (listening to music, bit of laptop work, MarioKart) and don’t worry about.

2) Everything runs like clockwork at that time in the morning – you’ll get used to the train being in the station at the exact same time every day and you’ll see the same faces, the same people yawning and falling asleep on the train, you’ll know every stop the train goes to and you’ll start to get bored real quick.

3) Once getting in to London, you’ll have to join to stream of people heading for the underground. No doubt there’ll be some sort of accident or one of the escalators will have stopped working or someone will be standing in the middle of the stairwell trying to figure out which way they’re meant to be going. The real advice: know which route you’re taking, know if you’re going northbound or southbound (or east or west, you get it) and just head down and go for it, everyone’s in a rush, just go with it.

4) Don’t push past people to get to the barriers – these are seasoned commuters and they’re easily angered. As long as you’re not running late, just go with the flow and let the stroppy men do their thing.

5) Men in suits are the norm and they will judge you for being female, not dressed formally, dressed formally, listening to music, sitting at a table, having a Macbook, having a windows laptop; literally everything. The men who wear a suit to work and commute into London every day either are in a really well paid job, are really stuck up, or hate their job. They’re assholes on the tube and you giving them a death glare will not change them.

6) When getting on a train at the end of the day, the further you walk down the train the quieter it will be – totally worth the extra walk.

Commuting into London, or any city, isn’t particularly fun. For me, work experience on the other end and coming home to my family every night was totally worth it. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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