There’s Always Monday

Posted on October 1, 2010


Finally the work day was over. And today was Friday, with a whole weekend of freedom ahead. Ann gathered her things and hurried to the train station for the commute home. She had been waiting for this all day.

She stood on the platform with all the other commuters, each watching for their trains. She scanned the sea of faces, all enervated from the 9 to 5, all dreading the crowded length of the trip to the apartments or the suburbs. Some looked like they were just waking up from a bad dream, and others looked dazed or trapped. Ann didn’t focus on any particular face; she’d mostly stopped doing that years ago. The unspoken commuter’s etiquette was that it was rude to look people directly in the eye. If you did, they might think you were a stalker.

Ann saw her train pulling in. A frisson of excitement went up her spine. She jostled to the front of the crowd so that she could be the first to board, so that she’d have a better chance of finding him.

The train stopped. The doors scraped open. She hurried on board, looking left and right. The train was already half full from previous stops, but some seats were still empty. And she was lucky today. Greg was toward the back of the car by the rear door, sitting alone, reading his evening paper. She smiled and sat down beside him. He looked up and smiled back.

It appeared he’d been waiting for her. He’d even saved her a seat. She gazed at him for a long moment, enjoying his dark good looks. This was what made the long commute worth it.

She felt him bend to nuzzle her neck. It tickled and made her stomach flutter. She took a deep breath. She could feel his mouth smile against her throat.

“Stop, Greg, what will people say?” She whispered her protest into his thick black hair, which smelled of sandalwood. She felt his hand cup the back of her head.

“What difference does it make what ‘people’ say?” His breath, his deep voice vibrated her neck. “Let them be jealous.”

But she sat up straighter in her seat, feeling a bit dizzy. She glanced up at him and smiled. His dark eyes gleamed, even in the sickly fluorescent light of the train.

“Just wait till I get you home,” he said, and she stifled a giggle. He turned back to his newspaper and began to read.

Ann glanced furtively at the other commuters. None of them noticed her. They only wanted to get home, to have the day done and let the weekend begin. They all looked vaguely alike; they were coming from and going to the same places, with only small variations.

His name likely wasn’t Greg. He was just a stranger who’d caught her imagination, just one more office drone making his way home. She wondered who he was, what his life was like, whether he was married or had kids.

One of these days, she might just introduce herself. She might ask him all those questions. There was always Monday.

The train pulled into Ann’s stop. She left without looking at him again and made her way to the street. She walked the two blocks to her apartment like she did every other day, alone.