I spot her from the far end of the platform, uniquely apart from the monochrome masses. Something about her is glowing – perhaps it is the emerald green dress? She carries herself with a touch more elegance than the other passengers, looking a bit out of place.
I try to elbow my way closer, desperately hoping to be in the same carriage. I lose sight of her briefly as I’m jostled around. We are moving now, the carriage reluctantly pressing forward with a cacophony of mechanical shrieks and groans. The overhead lights flicker and dim, I retreat and resign myself to the commute.
As the train snakes though the tracks, a metallic glimmer cuts through the dark like a flare. A brooch or something shiny, I see her now! The warm tone of auburn hair against her pale complexion, the neat black leather purse. She is closer in this confined space yet ever farther as I realize the next station could be where we part ways.
A voice overhead voice politely reminds us that the next stop is approaching and that is my destination. Is it hers as well? This time the carriage protests the deceleration with progressively louder screeches and I blink as I’m thrown forward. I recover my footing and we exchange a passing glance, and I begin to see the faintest trace of a smile on her lips. In the span of my next breath I am both in love and broken-hearted as the doors part and she turns and steps out, insouciant locks in tow.
I stumble out and stand paralyzed on the platform tile, dejected and bitter. This particular station is a labyrinth, and I’m convinced I will never see her again. I make my way through the passageways, intent on getting out of this damned maze and into fresh air. For the first few twists and turns I still hold out hope and scan the crowd but eventually hope fades. By the last staircase I have given up. Enough! We are not meant to be.
As I spill out onto the street I say goodbye to the events of the morning yet vow to preserve that last image of her in my mind. Yes, I fell in love with a girl on the subway today. I fell in love with you, Giulia.
This article also appears on DRIVETRIBE: Vintage Modders