Kimmy closed the notebook and tried to tuck it away. Suddenly she felt over protective of it. Fixing a hard look on her face, she shook her head slightly and felt baby loose strands of hair brushing against her forehead.
‘Maybe, I made a mistake…’ he said and rubbed his hands on his knees.
They both looked away. Him around the carriage and her the window. Kimmy manged to slip the notebook into her pocket. She steadied her breathing and played with her hair. In the reflection from the window, she watched him turn and look at her. Swallowing, she nervously twisted around. The noise of the train rumbling into a tunnel echoed loudly in their ears mixing with the similar music still coming out of their headphones. The inside lights flickered for a few seconds, before casting everything in an ugly orange shade.
‘Why did you say that?’ she asked.
‘Because I lost a notebook full of drawings like that,’ he stated.
‘Weeks ago?’ she whispered, dropping her head and peering shyly back at him.
He nodded, ‘it must have slipped out of my bag. I didn’t know till hours later. I thought…I’d never get it back…’ he shrugged, ‘I won’t…’
Kimmy touched the notebook through her pocket before pulling it out again. She handed it to him. He paused then took it from her. She watched him flip through the pages and listened to the paper zinging together. He came to a stop, glanced at her then looked down again.
‘I picked it up and I did mean to hand it in, but when I got off the train there was a storm and I guess I just forgot. I’m sorry,’ Kimmy gushed, ‘then I wasn’t going to look at it, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t important and try to find out who it belonged too. It’s yours isn’t it?’
‘Yes, he breathed.
Kimmy nodded and unable to take it anymore, she fixed her face to the window.
The darkness came to an end as the train blasted out of the tunnel. Rain hit the window, trailing clear beads down the glass. A mix of green and brown colours went passed like a smeared painting. The scene blurred before her and she felt tears prickling her eyes. Confused at her mixed emotions, she wiped her eyes and went to pull up her headphones.
There was a brush of warm air and fingers on her back as she moved. Kimmy glanced over her shoulder.
‘What’s your name?’ he asked softly.
‘It’s Kimmy. What’s yours?’
‘Alex. It’s nice to meet you.’
‘You too,’ Kimmy answered and let her hands fall into her lap.
Alex opened the notebook, having held a page with his fingers. He showed it to her and Kimmy saw the sketch of herself concentrating. She pulled a face which was quickly replaced with a small smile.
‘I hope you don’t mind…I couldn’t help but notice you a few times,’ he spoke.
‘It’s amazing. As are your other drawings,’ Kimmy answered.
‘Thanks. And thanks for giving this back to me. It means a lot.’
‘Here, you should have this…’
Kimmy grabbed Alex’s hand as he went to rip the page out.
‘How about you do a proper portrait of me instead?’
He stopped and Kimmy cursed herself.
Did I just say that? What? Why? She thought, there’s no way he’d want to even…and now he’s looking at me like I’m crazy. Great. Way to go!
‘Seriously?’ Alex asked.
‘Only if you want too…I mean….I don’t know if I can pay you and everything…’
He nodded then thoughtfully said, ‘why don’t we start with a coffee first?’
‘Yes. I’d like that,’ Kimmy replied, the growing smile lighting up her face.
To Be Continued…