- Flash Fiction by Bel Vidal -
Last Valentine’s day, while sweeping the platforms at the railway station just before the end of my shift, I couldn’t help but notice this gorgeous guy sitting on one of the benches. He was wearing a business suit, silk tie and shiny black shoes, and was holding a bouquet of red roses. He’d been there for a while but didn’t get on any of the trains. He just sat there waiting for his girl to arrive, and she never did.
Something caught my eye: a tear trickled down his face, glistening in the afternoon sun. Another followed. He had the saddest and prettiest blue eyes, if a little bloodshot. I wondered how long he’d been sitting there with his crimson flowers, his polished shoes and his shiny cheeks, waiting. I’d never seen a man cry in public, alone, making no effort to hide his emotions. I ran to the ticket office and pointed him to Medhavi, letting my imagination run wild.
‘Do you think they broke up? Perhaps he was planning to propose tonight, and she ran away with someone else! Oh my God, what if she died on the way here?’
Medhavi just rolled her eyes and went back to her post at the ticket window. When I went home, sometime later, the poor fellow was still there, still weeping. His image stayed in my mind’s eye long after I left the station.
A few days later, I spotted his face in the peak hour crowd. More than anything, I immediately recognised his baby blue eyes. He was wearing jeans and a torn t-shirt this time and instead of roses he was carrying a battered backpack. How different he looked in that outfit! He was standing against the wall, chatting with two other blokes.
The distinct sparkle of a tear caught my attention, before he quickly wiped it with the back of his hand, and kept on talking. I realised he wasn’t crying, he never had been.
He just had some condition that made for watery eyes.
Bel Vidal - Débutante novelist (author of Exuberance), blogger,