I’m not sure what it was about you that captured my attention first…
Maybe your laid-back business attire paired with a blue backpack full of pins that stated “yeah I may be professional but I’m also an explorer.”
Or was it the colour of your shirt that complimented your eyes and hair colour (which is a lovely warm shade of brown, like your sun-kissed skin).
Or the scruff that also indicated you might be some sort of travel-lover or a bit of a hippie like me.
Maybe the fact that you had a smaller body frame, and so do I.
You smirked at me slightly while passing me at the Bloor-Yonge station where I stood, awkwardly, knowing I looked like shit (I was hungover). It wasn’t a full smile so I didn’t fully smile back. I wish I had. Maybe this whole story would end differently if I did.
You walked further down as we waited for the Line 1 bus going North. My area was getting crowded, so I walked closer to you, my feet aching in my heels. In retrospect, maybe I was gravitating towards you and I’m using the crowd as an excuse as to why we entered the same TTC doors when the bus flew in.
I wish we interacted sooner. Initially, I thought you were with your mother, though. This lady seemed to have pointed out the North Line sign to you and followed close behind. When I recognized you were both strangers, I wanted so badly to say hello to you. Why couldn’t I? What was stopping me? Ahhh, of course: anxiety.
But I also blame technology and social media and the way the world “interacts” now. Everyone communicates via their smart phone and connections aren’t as intimate as they used to be. I don’t even remember how to approach or talk to strangers. Especially beautifully crafted ones like you.
Zooming North, I watched the flashing lights on the subway map, wondering which stop you were going to get off at. I was hoping it wasn’t soon and I was hoping you were getting off at York Mills (where I did).
On the seat beside me, a girl was leaning against a glass divider, sleeping. Well, it appeared she was asleep but she may have only been resting her eyes.
You were standing diagonally to the right of me, chatting to an older man whom I came to understand was a stranger to you. At first I thought you knew him. You stood facing him and I have no idea what you two shared but I envied how easily you were able to approach someone randomly and strike up a conversation… and hold the conversation. It was attractive and impressive.
Your conversation was funny; I finally saw your smile. Your biggest grin as you two shared laughs and I could not stop staring at you. I melted. You were the most handsome man I’d ever seen.
The two of you kept looking over in my direction and chuckling. I think you were laughing at Sleeping Beauty next to me and I couldn’t help but crack a small smile at the entire situation. I was, for a period of time, worried you were both laughing at me. At my stained shorts, my messy hair and my leftover make-up. Maybe you were laughing at both of us, at the type of people you find on the subway; haggard messes and people with narcolepsy.
York Mills was soon approaching and my time to say hello was running out. But how could I say hi when you were already talking to this man and now his (I assume) wife? I was sweating profusely both because I was full of nerves and it was a humid day. I could smell my B.O. and it made me self-conscious. Whatever. I’m just going to be confident anyway. I’m not looking my best right now but I shouldn’t care what people think. I gave myself a pep talk. I had to say something to this man. I’d regret it, I knew I would.
Maybe I could ask if they were laughing at me and apologize for looking like a homeless hooker but I’m glad to provide entertainment? Maybe I could simply compliment him?
The monotoned voice interrupted my thoughts. “Next Station is York Mills. York Mills Station.”
I stood up, hanging off a handle, hoping he’d smile at me or say something to me. The whole time I’m sweating, trying to find wiggle room into the never-ending conversation with this couple. But I only had seconds left.
The doors opened.
I looked right at him and could feel my face blushing. I smiled shyly, “you’re really handsome, I just had to tell you,” and I stumbled out.
As the doors closed he spoke out, “thank you! Have a great day!”
I instantly felt sad. It was strange. I felt like I missed an opportunity… it felt like I missed a chance to connect with a soul similar to mine. I wanted him to chase me before the doors closed and we’d never cross paths again.
The bus zoomed ahead of me and through the window, he waved, a huge smile planted on his face.
I hope he saw me smile and wave back but I might’ve looked up too late. I spoke to him too late.
On the GO bus back home all I could think about was him and I wondered which stop he got off at. Did he feel the same way I did? Did he wish he could’ve had another chance to connect with me? Did he want to run off that subway and discover who I was as much as I wanted to discover this captivating human?
It was around 5:30pm on a Sunday when this whole story happened. Where was someone dressed in business attire going? Does he work on Sundays? Was his home just a few stops after I hopped off?
To the man headed North on Line 1, where are you?
I want to meet you… again.