Amongst Sepia and Dust
This might read like fiction, but it really did happen. I’ve stylised it a little (I secretly miss writing fiction!), so you’ll need to work out who is doing the talking. Enjoy! – The Londoner.
I was positive that she was running from trouble; the huge black rucksack mounted on her back bobbed onto the metro as she jumped on when the beeps announced the closing of the doors.
She whisked around with an expectant smile on her face. A smile of success; of victory. A smile that exploded with pride that screamed, ‘I did it! I’ve out-run them. Ha!’ But it dissolved into a knotted frown, and she pressed herself against the glass of the now-closed doors.
At that point, I wished to have a stethoscope of her thoughts, of her knowledge and of her fears. Why were her twizzer-arched eyebrows pressed together so tightly that one’s fingers would be squeezed if placed between them? Why were her eyes darting from left to right, scouring the station platform as the train slowly pulled away from the station? And why – dear God – did she shake her head, crying, “Oh no!” at the sight of a commotion of men gathered around a heap of beige and brown on the platform?
What was this woman’s story? And why did it seem as though she had so much to tell?
We had a clear goal: run! Well, actually, it was clearer than that, but I braced myself to sprint as fast and as hard as my now ‘well-toned’ legs could carry me.
As soon as the doors slid open we made a dash for it, her bag bobbed from side-to-side as her slim legs moved faster than I ever imagined they could. I spotted our destination, where we desperately needed to reach. The large blue ‘Ladies’ sign a clear indication of the carriages we wanted to get to, and I could see the path, the gaps that we had to interweave through to get there.
She was off and my legs were thrown into gear. I was shocked. Since when could I run so fast? I did a mini ‘you go girl‘ cheer in my mind, lowered my head a little and made a dash for it.
And then it happened. I should’ve known it would; should’ve had a Plan B for when it occurred. I was too close to the sign – the station sign. Its two poles holding up the white sign that read ‘El Zahra’. He had stepped into the path that I’d had all worked out. He’d closed the gap so I couldn’t run through it without knocking him to the side. I thought I could fit behind the sign instead – we had a carriage to jump on. And so I whizzed behind the sign, but it was too close a call. Images of sepia, dust, concrete and beige-out shoes became the sight before my eyes as I fell to the ground, hands first.
I caught a glimpse of her; her bag continued to bounce along as she continued running, oblivious to what had happened behind her.
“Hay! Ya Haga!” They called, but she didn’t hear a thing. So I simply laid there amongst the sepia, dust, beiged-out shoes and concrete.
‘I’ve missed the train.’ My thoughts were immediately confirmed by the beeps as the doors of the metro drew to a sharp close.
‘Ive missed the train.’