Brown Eyed Girl

My Flash .

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

It’s 7:40am. Penn Station New York is a sea of people. I follow the flow of bodies through the train stile to a raised platform. I board a full #2 train, holding coffee from Dunkin Donuts, New York state overpriced. With standing room only I hold my beverage tight to prevent a straphanger spill.  I notice everyone is focused on a tablet or phone. My phone is tucked away safely, wallet in the front pocket of my Dockers, typical New Jerseyite paranoia. I try to take a sip of my lukewarm coffee as the train pulls into Times Square 42nd Street, my stop when I spot her.            brown 5

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

She gets on the uptown D train from 42nd Street. I have seconds to decide to follow her or continue to my destination. The D train is filling fast and tight, more people than the packed #2. I throw away my coffee in a bin labeled papers only and squeeze in the Bronx bound train before the doors close.

My heart pounds as I take short breaths. I hear a sneeze close by but the noise of the train ride conceals its origin. My strap hand protected with a thin leather driving glove covers my mouth and nose. I close my eyes and wonder what the hell I’m doing.

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

The annoying recording heightens a sense of claustrophobia when no one gets out at the next station and more people get in. I calm myself by picturing her image before being packed tight like a can of sardines.

Model tall, she’s wearing a black cotton tank top and prewashed cropped jeans. Low cut black tennis shoes expose a tattooed ankle and accents the tank top and a black belt. She has a grey canvas tote bag and a clutch purse the same color. I remember the song by Van Morrison when I briefly look into her brown eyes. I turn away as she looks in my direction and the crowd rushes in.

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

The train pulls into the 116th Street station. Bodies push out unapologetically. As the doors close I see her for the first time since boarding the D train. She is sitting in a corner chair next to the exit doors. Tote bag in a seat by itself now that the crowd has dispersed. Her stop, 125th Street is next. I know because I’ve done this before. The first time I followed her on the D train, I got off at 59th Street, chiding myself for not attempting to say hello. Seeing her two days later, I was brave enough to stay on the train to her stop at 125th Street but was afraid to speak up as she walked passed me through the train door. I sat irritated at myself and expected to get off at the next stop to catch another train back towards work.  I didn’t realize the local D train turned into an express to the Bronx after 125th Street. That day I was forced to sit agitated on a nonstop ride to the Bronx.

Today is going to be different. As the train pulls into the 125th Street station, I take a breath and step pass discarded newspapers, magazines and coffee cups working my way to her side of the train.

The doors spring open suddenly and a small crowd steps in blocking my forward momentum. At the same time she stands up and in two steps is off the train! The quick move startles me but I push through New York style and make my way off the train too. She is too far ahead to yell, … hey lady?’ so I walk briskly in her direction when I notice she’s looking for something. The tote bag! She looks around the station, and then at me in the distance.

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

Without a second thought, I turn and race back to the train as the doors close. A bell chimes and the doors open one last time as I squeeze in the half-full car. Her tote bag is undisturbed on the seat where she left it. I pick it up with despair, knowing the doors will not open again, that I cannot get off this damn train. I’m on my way to the Bronx.

Maybe another day I tell myself. At least I tried, I convince myself as I look through the bag that prevented me from meeting the girl I can’t stop thinking about. Surprisingly, its lightly filled with rainbow color decorative tissue paper and a yellow envelope addressed to ‘The Guy Watching Me On The Train.’

The ride to the Bronx is a bumpy jolt left and right as the train picks up speed. I debate if I should open it while putting the envelope up to my nose hoping for a scent of perfume. Women use scented envelopes, right?

Deciding its addressed to me, I open it. An old man sitting across from me watches intensely.  I ignore him while I read the letter inside.

Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors Please

I walk through the open train doors and do a little dance as I trot up the subway platform to East 205th and Perry Street, Bronx. Smiling, I take out my mobile phone and dial my work.

“Family business. I’m taking off the rest of the week.”

Copyright © 2019 Darnell Cureton. All Rights Reserved

A/N:  So many brown eyed girls. Who Is He Meeting? Maybe one of these? It’s My Story, But Your Choice Of The Girl.     – thanks for reading…..

brown 2 

 

 

  One thought on “Brown Eyed Girl

  1. January 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I want this to be a true story….and girl number 2 is our choice as well…..this had real breath of innocence to it,Darnell.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. January 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Great story! I’m going with girl #2

    Liked by 1 person

  3. January 29, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Beautifully written, and it makes you want to fill in the gaps as the reader to think of what this mysterious girl is like (I see her as being quite fun, a little cheeky, intelligent), and there’s such a sense of tension to want to know what he’s just read at the end. Long ride to the Bronx, but worth it to find that scented envelope! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      I wanted readers to fill in the gaps because the ideal person someone is attracted to is different for everyone, so would the message in the letter. Thanks for reading Caz.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. January 28, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I’m undecided. Not the last one though. More umph was put into the earlier pieces. Good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      The last one looks undecided too. I don’t think she would have left a letter. But I’d be judging by a look… Thank you for reading, and the follow. 😎

      Like

  5. January 28, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Super, Darnell! I pick #2, the woman cast in shadows. She seems sufficiently mysterious to want to wrap the speaker in intrigue by leaving her gift. And having the reader suggest the woman was a novel (no pun intended) approach to enhance engagement.

    You had me with you from word one, and I really liked the audio for verisimilitude.

    Hmmm: butterflies! Interesting…

    Cheers,

    Annie

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      I’ll have to do this another time with a different story. It turned out to be an unexpected pleasure to see everyone select the woman they wanted the speaker to contact. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. I thank you for your encouraging comment.

      Like

      • January 28, 2019 at 9:58 pm

        A fine idea—enlisting your readers’ creativity and stake in your work. BTW, I just read Ann Patchett’s “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” which is a collection of previous non-fiction pieces—mostly about fiction writing. Though it’s uneven, I think much of it will be of considerable interest to you and your fellow fiction writers—especially her intro to a “best short stories” collection.

        Liked by 1 person

      • January 29, 2019 at 3:11 am

        Thank you Annie!
        I’ll take any inspiration. 😉

        Like

  6. January 28, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    Girl #4… They are all breathtakingly beautiful but she intrigued me the most. Awesome writing! Loved this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Meg
    January 28, 2019 at 9:55 am

    This was absolutely delightful! Loved it! Now my choice is the girl right in the middle – the butterfly girl. The others are all classically beautiful but this girl is different, unique. I imagine she’s an artist or a musician. And I’m dying to know what the letter said! great writing, Darnell! 🙏😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 28, 2019 at 10:03 am

      I liked that one also.😊 I was thinking about putting butterflies on the envelope, but that would have been a dead giveaway. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meg
        January 28, 2019 at 10:07 am

        Always a pleasure!

        Like

  8. January 28, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Definitely #1. She looks mysterious…like there’s something going on behind her “brown eyes.”

    Liked by 1 person

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