Exactly what it says: Below is what I spent the last hour writing, with only a few minutes of editing. It’s how I’m relieving some stress/wasting some time today. Hopefully it doesn’t suck too much. *insert thumbs up/wink here* Enjoy! Oh, and it’s the first installment, so hopefully you don’t hate it!
He sits down in front of me, and, my gosh, he’s beautiful. I didn’t think there would be anything to get me through this next hour of waiting in excited agony; of waiting in the holding area for the train to arrive; of waiting on a hard, mahogany bench for my future to come chugging on through. Oh, my future, my dreadful, dreadful future! Yes, I had no inclination that there would be anything over this next hour that could take my mind off the uncertainty of my soon-to-be life and thus help the time pass quicker. But there he is, sitting on the bench directly facing me, bent over and fiddling with a buckle on his left penny loafer. They’re awfully wonderful shoes he has on, a gorgeous shade of brown and seemingly made of a rather expensive leather, Italian probably. As he fixes the decorative piece, moving his hands around the gold metal in a rather jerking motion, a book slides off his lap and onto the floor about a foot in front of him. He takes a quick glance in its direction and then continues the job at hand. I guess the thing really isn’t that important to him, at least in comparison to whatever is wrong with his shoe.
I like to think he’s rich. Yes, being all alone in this city train station means you’re either poor, rich, or desperate, and since I know what both poor and desperate persons in here look like, I have to say he’s one of the rich. Either that or he’s simply good at pretending to be, but I doubt it’s the latter. Everything about him screams wealth. From those brown leather loafers to the perfectly fitted–and therefore carefully tailored–navy pants that hit at just the right spot–two inches above the ankle when sitting so as to show off the most stylish amount of thin joint covered by sock–to his maroon, woolen, v-neck sweater to the white button down underneath to the thick, navy tweed suit jacket he wears on top, it all looks deliciously lavish. Yes, he’s dressed completely to the nines, yet it’s midday and he’s taking a train from here to York, a twelve-hour trip. And gathering from the one brown suitcase he has sitting at his feet that perfectly matches his shoes, he’s only staying there for a day or two. So there’s no denying he’s wealthy. No one travels twelve hours in complete discomfort to stay only for a day or two unless they’re absolutely rich. The only other scenario would be that he really is staying in York for quite some time and has simply already sent his bags ahead. But, again, only the rich can afford to do that.
So he’s a beautiful, young, wealthy man. He must have inherited it, though, or at least have ridiculously kind parents who enjoy paying their son’s way, for he’s far too young to have struck it rich on his own. He’s my age at least and two years older than me at most. Between 20 and 22 years of life is definitely nowhere near enough time to make it big in this world, unless you become an actor, of course. But that’s hard to do; you either lack the talent or simply never get discovered, and being that he’s traveling to York of all places, he’s certainly one or the other–or very possibly both. Yes, young, well-dressed, beautiful face, soft hands, travelling alone, few bags; it means he’s bred from wealth.
I let out a soft sigh. He was born rich, and I not. While class really wouldn’t be detrimental if we ever fell in love, it still would make me feel a bit odd, as well as a bit of a nuisance. It’s simply something I’d never be able to get past, having to rely solely on a man for my wealth and well-being. It may seem silly, but I just don’t want to be tied down. I want independence and self-sufficiency and freedom and my own things. That’s why I’m leaving this city in the first place; I simply can stand leaning on others no longer, and so a rich man just does not fit into my equation. Not right now, at least. I either want a love that is naturally on my level, or I want to be in love with the rich only after I work my way up to equal them. But I don’t want to fall for one now, to be rescued, provided for, and pitied, for that’s all a wealthy husband can provide a poorer wife: money and sympathy, neither of which love can last on. And I want a love that lasts. So this man, as intriguingly handsome as he is, is a no-go. What a shame.
Although, it probably would never work out between us, anyway. Knowing my luck, he’s most likely already engaged to the princess of some far away land, or at least some tycoon’s heiress daughter, and is happily in love with her. Yes, he already has a lover, and she’s someone quite special, someone who has much more to offer than a relatively kind smile and generally irksome intellect, unlike myself. I bet he’s off to meet her right now, to spend these next two days further courting her with sweet whispers and gentle kisses. That would at least explain why he’s leaving for York, for rich heiresses never live in big cities. Oh, I bet he’s just so thrilled to be heading off to meet her! Good for him. I’m glad he’s happy. You can see his happiness even amidst his frustration just by the way he moves , just by the way he carries his shoulders even while bending. Yes, he must already be in love. I’m glad he has love.
So clearly it would never work out between us, anyway, even if he did finally quit trying to fix his obviously beyond-repair buckle, look up, notice me here, and fall madly in love, even if only for a moment. Actually, that’s all it would ever last, only a moment. After spending just that much time looking at plain, old me, he’d very soon remember his beautiful, wealthy fiance and then quickly disregard any feelings for myself he may have briefly gained, for I could never offer him even half as much as whomever he is promised to. But so goes the story of my life.
As I sit here letting these thoughts carry me far away from this bustling, headache-inducing station, I become dimly aware of an ache in the center of my back. I grimace slightly at the nuisance and sink further down into the bench, trying to lessen the pressing of the wood against my spine, but it is useless. I am simply too bony for it to not. I sigh once again. If only I wasn’t so skinny! My dearest friend’s words from the other day come flying back into my head.
“Well, if you’d just pack on a few more pounds, Betts, then maybe guys would start noticing you!”
Maybe. Maybe if I just went up a few dress sizes, I’d be more desirable, seen as more feminine, finally be wanted as a wife. But how I am now, I’m too thin, and so I just fade into the background. With few curves in a world full of male lust for the buxom, I’m seldom noticed–and when I am noticed, it’s for being anything but attractive, pretty, beautiful, or the like. Guys see me and ask me to be their best friend. I don’t blame them, though. When there’s a nice girl who’s shaped like a guy, she’s certainly less intimidating to befriend than the average woman–and the average man.
So even if this guy does end up noticing me, it won’t be out of awe for my beauty or for the quickened pulses that come with instantaneous love. It will be for no other reason than the fact that there is another person seated across from him, most likely staring at him in a very odd, intense, and unsettling manner.
Which finally reminds me to quit subjecting this poor man to my naturally intense eyes, what my dearest friends and family so lovingly call my “thinking stare.” But he’s just so beautiful that I simply cannot help but stare in awe and ponder it. I decide to look away when he finally looks up. For now, though, I will happily memorize who he is, or, rather, guess at who I believe he is. What a strange thing we do when we see people we don’t know! We instantly make up their life stories in our heads and wholeheartedly convince ourselves that they must be correct. Why do we do this? We know it’s wrong to judge, yet we do it nonetheless. What odd creatures we humans are!
Suddenly, though, I am jerked forth from my thoughts as something hits hard against the toe of my right black heel. And also just as suddenly, there’s an apologetic, middle-aged woman wearing a very funny purple hat bending over me and grabbing my hands, saying sorry very sincerely for not having seen the book on the ground. I reassure her that I am fine and have been hit by much worse things in my life than a book on my toe, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling badly. What does is the book’s beautiful owner as he comes up behind her and speaks.
“No, no, madame, it was not your fault,” he says with genuine concern in a smooth tenor. “It was my book, and I neglected to pick it up out of preoccupation with a broken shoe buckle. Please don’t worry yourself. It is I who should fret. I really do hope you forgive me.” He clasps his hands and bows slightly forward, as if he isn’t worthy of her presence.
“Why, that’s quite alright, dear,” she says, touching his arm gently. “Just be a bit more cautious next time you drop something in public,” she adds with a warm, maternal smile. She turns again to me and apologizes once more before carrying on her way.
I look down at the book on the ground. Its title is in German. Out of an odd combination of politeness, fear, and physical attraction, I hold back a gasp. German? At a time like this? But I decide that I have judged this poor man enough today already, and so I keep my mind from wandering any further down the path it has already turned down. Maybe he is simply studying the language. Or maybe he is actually in the Allied Cause. Or maybe he isn’t rich but is rather actually one of the desperate in this station…
No, Betts! You said you wouldn’t judge! Correct, and so I won’t. Whatever his reason for reading German, it does not concern me. It is his life, and he can live it in whichever way he wants.
I bend over and casually pick up the book, then hold it out to him.
“So, you speak German?” I ask, with a slightly jesting tone to my voice. In all actuality, I’m dying to know the answer, but I don’t want him to know I’m curious just in case. And so I’ll play this conversation off as simple fun.