He spotted her.
She was standing at the corner of the train, just beside the glass panel by the door. Decked in a crisp, baby blue long-sleeve blouse; hair, dyed golden brown and tied up in a ponytail; she caught his attention when people were pushing their way into the crowded cabin.
For that few seconds when she shuffled in, he saw her face. He thought he was looking at an angel. Then again, almost every OL that he sees in the train looks like an angel to him. If there’s any consolation he had for taking trains in the morning, it would be these OLs, and those fleeting glances, perhaps reminding him about the sorry state of his love life (the lack thereof, that is).
So as he stood, trying not to breathe too hard so that the woman standing in front of him wouldn’t think there was a Darth Vader behind, he admired from afar. Yes, she might have fair and smooth complexion (adding to the archetype of the perfect female that any male would find hard to resist). Yes, she had stuff piled on her face to look good. But he knew there was no Photoshop in any of this.
Then, his mind drifted. He wondered if she’s married or attached. Then, he fantasised about how it was like to have her as … a girlfriend, a soulmate, a companion… (Note: Not activity partner). They (these thoughts) made him smile for a bit and God must have some sympathy for him at that moment because Khalil Fong started to sing his rendition of “Wonderful Tonight” on his mp3 player right at that very moment.
He was thankful for it. Just because Khalil’s stirring vocals drowned out the condemning voices in his head. His morning and start for the week (let alone the day) were not spoiled by the incessant condemnations that would rain at him in his mind (perhaps for days on end).
The train door opened. The crowd made a hurried beeline for the escalators. He tried to pick her out from the double rows of people making their way up. Then, he saw her again. It was the back view this time and then, he noticed the colour co-ordination – baby blue for the top and jet black for the bottom, including the high heels. She walked with poise. She negotiated her way through the gate with poise. She got up another escalator also with poise.
Never again he was able to see her face.
The lingering image in his head was her walking towards the people distributing MyPaper to the hordes.
It was also the last time he would see her.