This is a very short story I wrote years ago. Enjoy!
We first met on the Connex (when it was Connex) train from Brockley to London Bridge. It was a few years ago and it didn’t last long but I’ll never forget her. Her voice sent a shiver down my spine.
“We will shortly be arriving at New Cross Gate.”, I almost melted.
There was a connection the moment I saw the text scrolling across her LED screen. A real spark between us. The kind of crap that only happens in terrible romantic comedies. Anyway, this was for real.
It was good for a while. It really was. We had a great time together. I had to fit my schedule around her because she always seemed to be working but I didn’t mind. It was enough just to be around her while she worked.
After a few months, though, the cracks started to show. The instability in our relationship started to manifest itself and things started to get tense between us.
It’s always the small things that bother you, isn’t it? I mean big things obviously don’t go unnoticed but it feels to me like it’s usually a build up of minor things into a bigger picture which just says: “This isn’t working.”
She could be very controlling. There were times when I felt like the whole direction of the relationship was dictated by her constant announcements.
“Our next destination is swapping keys.”
“Please make sure you have all your belongings with you when we move in together.”
“Please alight here for a nice little bridal shop that has a dress I really like.”
“We will shortly be arriving at… why haven’t I met your father?”
That last one caused, probably, our biggest fight. My father lives out of the country and she could never understand that it wasn’t because I didn’t love her that I hadn’t dropped everything to take her to visit; she’s not even eligible for a passport.
It was during an announcement on the 484 from Lewisham that she finally ended it. I hadn’t had the courage to do anything even though I was unhappy.
“Harefield Road”, she said. There was an awkward pause before, “I don’t think this is working. I’m not happy and you haven’t said a word to me the whole trip.”, in her disjointed, robotic tone.
“I… I don’t… I just…”, I stumbled over my words as tears welled in my eyes.
“You don’t seem happy and I can’t bear it that it’s us that making you this way.”, she filled the silence left by my inability to articulate emotions.
“I think you’re right… I’ve been having doubts recently. I just couldn’t bring myself-“, I was halted by a sob.
“We can still be friends.”, she said. Her voice, although harsh to most ears, was strangely comforting.
And so it finished. You’ve probably seen her around; I still do. We chat and I think we get along well. I don’t regret our time together, I’m a better person for it.
If you see her, send her my love.
by Sam Rae