Coming down the escalator, I looked at the monitor in the train station to see just how long I’d have to wait for the next train.
Sigh. Twenty minutes. I must have just missed the last train, I thought.
I stepped off the escalator with purpose and care, making sure not to let my cobalt blue Jessica Simpson pointed toe pumps hit the ground too hard, but also letting anyone watching know that I was no punk (even with my stilettos on).
It was midnight in DC after all, and I was by myself heading home from a longer than needed to be Happy Hour situation. All of this meant that I was extra aware of not trying to look drunk and/or like a fragile, demure little girl who couldn’t handle herself. But I also didn’t want to ruin my shoes just so no one would bother me.
I quickly scanned the platform and found an empty bench, plopping my body on the concrete slab since I had so much time to kill. I glanced up at the monitor again. Great — nineteen minutes left. I couldn’t believe only a minute had passed by, but that just meant that I needed to find something to occupy my time and hopefully make it go a little quicker.
Figuring the best way to do that was by writing, I pulled a pen out of my purse, along with my trusty journal and began scribbling down thoughts of mine for later blog posts. I was in a zone. I was writing furiously. I was minding my own business… that is until I suddenly realized I had company.
“Hey, what are you writing over there,” he asked, as he sat down, just a little too close to me.
He’d walked up right as I’d finished about a 1/2 page worth of material, but since I wasn’t really in the mood for chit chatting, I’d tried to ignore him. Clearly, he hadn’t received the hint.
“Uhhh, nothing really. Just some thoughts,” I said, slightly picking my head up, but quickly returning my attention back to my pen and paper.
“Oh ok. Must be some really interesting thoughts. Can I read?”
“I’m sorry, what?” I looked up again, brow furrowed so he would know that I was in no mood to entertain his fancy.
“I was just hoping maybe I could read some of your thoughts,” he replied, backing off slightly.
“I don’t think so.”
I was determined to get this dude to leave me alone, and so finally, I locked eyes with him.
“Listen,” I said, softening up my stance a bit. “I’m not trying to be rude. But I’m just not in the mood, so whatever you were thinking might happen here. It’s not going to. Okay?”
“Okay, cool. I get you,” he said. “And I appreciate you being straight forward. I’m not trying to bother you, promise. I just… well… I saw you coming down that escalator with your serious face on and your blue shoes sparkling on the ground, and I just was caught off guard. And then I saw you sit down and start writing and I was like, man, I need to get to know her.” I could tell he was speaking from a sincere place as he slightly ran his hands over his jeans a few times trying to combat his nerves while talking to me.
“So you just admitted to watching me for the past few minutes, you know that right?”
“Yea I did,” he chuckled nervously. “I guess that didn’t really help my case.”
“No,” I laughed. “It didn’t. Look, you seem like a nice guy and you’re attractive, but I’m just not trying to go there with anyone right now.”
“I understand,” he said, sitting back onto the bench, away from me. “I get it.”
The next few minutes passed by as I continued to write in my journal, still aware that he was sitting next to me and probably still watching me. His obvious stares made me nervous but also a little excited, and that caused me to begin tapping my heeled feet on the ground over and over.
“Am I making you nervous,” he finally asked me.
I turned to face him. “Yea, a little bit.”
“Oh ok, well I don’t want to make you nervous. But I was just thinking about what you said earlier — how you’re not trying to go there with anyone right now?”
“Well what if we just became friends? I don’t know, there’s something about you that just tells me I need to get to know you — in whatever way you’re comfortable with.”
“Ummmm…” I looked at the monitor again. I was tempted by his request, but thankfully the train was now only a minute away. Saved by the incoming train, I thought.
“I don’t know. I mean, it doesn’t really sound like you’re looking for a friend,” I finally said.
“I’m not. But I’d be willing to be your friend. If that’s what you wanted.”
I looked around again and noticed the lights flickering on the platform, signalling that the train was imminent.
“Hmmmm… I don’t know. I just don’t know,” I said, hesitating, but also beginning to pack my things back into my purse to be ready for when they train came. This guy had no way of knowing, but I’d just recently ended things with someone and just wasn’t in the right place to try and date again. But he was cute… I was torn!
“Come on,” he said — smiling brighter than I’d seen him smile the whole time. “You don’t have to think too hard. How about I just give you my name and number and you can decide later if it’s something you want to use.”
“Okay,” I said. “I could do that.”
He quickly scribbled his name and number down on a piece of scratch paper he found in his wallet and handed it to me as the doors to the train opened.
“Thanks,” I said. “I’ll think about using it.”
“That’s all I ask for,” he said, smiling like a guy who knew he’d just given himself a chance.
“Wait — what’s your name,” he called out right before the doors closed. “I don’t want to just know of you as the pretty girl with the blue shoes.”
“Darby,” I said, giving him a slight smile.
“Okay, Darby. I look forward to hearing from you.”