The train station was just as busy as it had been yesterday. Bridget sat at the same table outside the coffee shop, notebook and pen awaiting her. This time though, she was sipping an ice fruit smoothie. Lost in thought, it took her a few seconds to see the man indicating to the empty chair opposite her.
‘Is anyone sitting here? Sorry to trouble you,’ he added.
Bridget glanced to the tables either side of her and saw that they were both occupied. The one on her right had a very large lady reading a thick book sitting at it and the one on the left had a teenage couple, both playing on their phones. Bridget nodded at the man and gratefully he sat down.
‘I was thinking,’ Bridget spoke.
The man looked questioningly at her.
‘That’s why I didn’t notice you,’ she added.
‘Oh. Its fine,’ the man answered.
Bridget smiled and took him in. The man was in his mid-thirties, with black wavy hair and a sculptured face. His nose, cheeks and chin, reminded her of Roman busts. He was wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans and carrying a single bag. He was holding a takeaway coffee cup and taking the lid off the top.
‘Are you waiting for a train?’ he asked.
‘No…I’m…waiting for a friend. Her train is late,’ Bridget answered.
The man nodded, ‘I’ve got a few minutes till mine.’
Bridget stopped herself from asking where he was going and instead put his face into her memory so she could write him up later.
The man turned from her, looking at the train time table board then at the ticket barrier. A train had clearly just come in and a crowd of people were coming through.
Bridget also drew her attention to them. Many seemed to be coming for a Friday night out or to spend the weekend. There were large groups of only men and only women, followed by a small mixed group of barely old enough teenagers. Bridget spotted a Hen party. All the women were wearing sashes that were pink and had silver writing on. They towed small suitcases and were chatting loudly.
Someone started playing chopsticks on the piano. The musical notes rising above the voices and the engines of trains.
Bridget sipped her drink and shot shy glances at the man. There’s no harm in asking him where he’s going, she thought.
A barking dog drew her attention away and she looked up. A woman was running to the ticket gates, holding two dog leads in one hand and suitcase in the other. Her dogs were racing beside her; a boarder collier and a smaller cross mix. She approached the wide gate, waved her train ticket in the guard’s face and was let in. Bridget watched her running to platform six, the dog still barking.
‘I have to go. Hope your friend gets here soon,’ the man said.
Bridget snapped her head back to him, ‘yes. Me too, thanks,’ she muttered.
The man stood, gave her a small wave and left. Bridget’s eyes followed him, noticing how nice his bum looked in those tight jeans.
Placing her drink down, she flipped open her book, wrote the date and title on the top line and started jotting down his description. She recalled as much as possible, adding in the question of where he was going underneath. Finishing up, Bridget looked up and saw a young man pacing before her.
He was checking his phone and when he reached the entrance to the pub he turned and came back. As he reached the entrance to the coffee shop, he turned and walked back again. Bridget watched him, fascinated. He was wearing a t-shirt that was too big that had some cryptic logo on and baggy jeans with scruffy trainers. There was something about the way he was pacing, it was frantic and clearly he was desperately waiting for someone.
Bridget dropped her eyes away and drew a line under what she had just written. With another look up, she began writing about the pacing man. Letting her pen flow across the lined page, she did not think too much about what she was writing. Stealing more glances, she noted down his clothes and how he looked. He had flat, wide cheek bones and a slight tan to his skin. His eyes were dark and constantly on his phone. He was so fixated that he did not notice his longish hair moving downwards over his face.
He stopped suddenly, looking up at the barrier as if he had heard something.
Bridget paused her pen and stared too. A new train load of people had arrived and they were all barraging through. There were too many faces and brightly coloured summer clothes mixed together for her to just focus on one person. So many had come for a night out, yet it had barely hit the afternoon. Families drifted passed with young children and large suitcases. Two middle-aged women stepped off to the side near the pub and began waving the rest of their group over to them.
Bridget regarded the pacing man. His back was completely turned and he was watching the crowd. Or at least she guessed he was. Whilst she studied him, a tall man peeled himself away from everyone else and came over. The pacing man jumped a little on the balls of his feet and slipped his phone away. As the man approached, they hugged and the pacing man went to kiss the other.
‘Not here,’ the other man whispered and quickly withdrew.
‘No one cares, Sas,’ the pacing man muttered.
The man nodded at Bridget, who quickly turned away and grabbed her drink.
‘Well, I don’t care!’
‘Calm down, Drew,’ Sas said quietly.
Bridget slurped the rest of drink and put it down. Her fingers were wet, so she rubbed them on her jeans before picking up her pen again. Moving her hair back with her other hand, Bridget looked secretly at the men. The second one was a lot taller than the first and more muscular. He also had softer cheek bones and plum lips. His hair was a rich brown and floppy. He was wearing tight, low slung jeans and a half open midnight blue shirt.
‘I don’t see why I should! Why are you so later anyway?’ Drew snapped.
‘The trains,’ Sas said with a quick shrug of his shoulders, ‘Do you want to stay here for coffee?’
‘No…let’s find a wine bar,’ Drew demanded.
‘Okay, fine, whatever…’ Sas trailed.
They began walking away, their footsteps mingling with the countless others and becoming lost in the background noise.
Bridget got back to her notebook and began writing furiously.
To Be Continued…