Strangers on a Train (Short Story)

She stepped onto the train in Odense. When I saw her on the platform, waiting, I wished for her to sit with me, to speak with me. I wanted her story, I wanted an intimate look into her world. That first view was stunning, cream skin with a hint of colour in high cheeks, dark red hair, tweed pants and a green wool sweater, not much, but enough to strike me and make me want to know her.

There were a few seats available in the carriage, I was seated by a window watching Denmark pass under grey winter sky, the snow drifting to the horizon in a country devoid of hills. The intimate space of four seats, two facing two where I was seated. I was dressed for travel, jeans and parka, old but clean, I was also more than a few days past the need of a shave and my hair grew long between the farms and bars of Jutland.

Is it magnetism? is it mutual attraction? I felt I drew her too me. She sat and smiled, her eyes were stunning, deep emerald green framed by flaming brows, a Celt, not a Norsewomen I felt. She smiled and I was suddenly like a teenager again, shy, tongue tied. Her smile deepened, she understood, but of course this was nothing new to her. She would have played this game before. I glanced at her, stunning in every aspect, perfection. Skin, hair, eyes, lips in perfect combination. A face of such striking beauty and even now after twenty seven years my failure to speak galls me, my failure to engage with the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. I imagine often the life we might have had, the romance that could have developed but I let it all slip away. Allowed us to remain, strangers on a train.


© Dave Kavanagh @

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