Story: Peckham Rye ~ Platform 3

Train stories ~ Short fictional stories inspired by real train commuters and I’ve intentionally not given the characters names. If I see you, I just may turn you into a story. 

Date: 29th December 2015

Pecks (no pun intended) and muscles at 90° poking out of his seemingly tight coat, but he didn’t care – for him it was about swag. Back in June she had said he didn’t have any.

Black beenie hat protecting his head from the welcoming South London December breeze, he checked his messages, none from her. He scrolled down his Instagram feed. She just posted a selfie, location Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria – her usual Christmas trip. She always knew how to have fun. Missing her, he sighed while holding back his brown thumb from double tapping her selfie. Such approval in the shape of a heart would have meant much more than just a like and he didn’t want to appear stalkerish. A long day’s work was written across his face and at the age of 31 the wrinkles by his eyes had deepened, not from the excess of laughter but from the tears he shed for her. 2015 – the year she left and the year he cried for her.

In his bid to rid her from his mind he stayed focused on his fit fam goals; protein shakes, chicken, tuna chunks and weights had caused his current chiselled state and the near empty two litre Evian bottle he carried, further confirmed his allegiance to the way of fit fam.

He shifted a bit in his tweed like coat, the tightness was getting to him or was it his heart that had tightened at the the thought of her? He made a mental note to check the sales and buy himself a new coat, one she would be pleased with should he one day bump into her.

“Her” he thought to himself “when will I stop living for Her?” Waiting for the train to London Victoria, he willed his mind to drift to that summer day.

“Listen babe…” – she wasn’t listening. In her fitted grey pencil skirt suit, the one he liked, she turned her back on him with a slight swivel in her black Zara heels, the one she wore to interviews.

“There’s nothing you can say. I’ve made up my mind. I’ve wanted this for so long and you’ve known this. Yes! I’m moving. Why not?” With a mean squint she turned back to look at him and genuinely perplexed she asked him, “Why are you trying to convince me to stay here and do what exactly?” She threw her hands up, as if to dismiss his answer before he could respond. That should have been an indication that whatever he had to say would not be received, but either his pride or love for her forced him to speak up.

“To be with me, isn’t that enough reason?” He said softly with hurt in his eyes, his tears glossing his brown eyes like expensive pottery – he didn’t want his tears to fall in her presence, but they disobeyed his pride.

Trying to match his softness but only sounding irritated she replied, “I wish I could say it was enough but it isn’t.” She meant it.

The replay of the heartbreaking day was interrupted by his approaching train to London Victoria. They had taken the same train that day. He sighed to himself in disbelief as he boarded the train. It again dawned on him, as it did that day, she really had gone.

By @OlayideM

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