I watched him as he stood there, flowers in hand, waiting patiently - well, at least calm with a gentle smile directed at a glass door, checking his watch every 20th second.
Normally, I would come to the train station and just sit at a bench and watch the people arrive and depart. I would enjoy the heartfelt, sad goodbyes of the departing, but even more did I enjoy the incredible joy of arriving loved ones long missed. The hugs, the kisses and the tears of joy. But a single second was the greatest. The moment the patient, longing face of the waiting would light up like the sun, at the sight of their loved one.
But this guy, probably about 19 years of age had been standing there for hours now, looking at the same glass door, from which his love would eventually appear. Hopefully.
”Who are you waiting for?"
”The love of my life."
”And you're sure she's coming?"
”Of course. She has to. She will."
I wasn't sure why I was asking and not sure why he responded. I guess a couple of hours of quiet company would build up some weird, unsaid trust. I was about to follow up, when he inhaled to continue:
”I met her 18 months ago, when she was 17. I guess we saved each other's lives; became best friends. But I'm in love with her, and I realized I should leave nothing unsaid. She was the one who taught me that."
I looked at the clock, not sure what to say - it was 16 minutes since the last train came in, thus, the next could be here any second.
I wasn't sure which train she would be on, as a lot of different ones apparently drove through her hometown, but while he had waited about 15 trains had come and gone.
None of them carrying his love.
”I told her I wanted to talk to her, she said, `Okay, I'll see you on the 14th,' I said, `Great,' and here I am. Waiting."
I looked at him and he looked back at me.
”She's on this train," he assured himself.
Another train came and the glass door from which his eyes never once inched opened up. A lot of people came through the door, old people, young people, men, women, businessmen and a couple of very loud 13-ish year old girls.
But not his girl. He sighed deeply, but kept on smiling. At least tried to do so. It was 12pm - noon. I thought about leaving - Bus 11, the one that takes me home, would leave in 10 minutes. I could make that.
But I didn't wanna leave. There was still hope, and no reunion could ever possibly be greater than this one. I needed this. I needed her to come and love the guy waiting for her in front of the glass door.
9 minutes until the bus would leave. The next one would be here in an hour and 8 minutes. I decided that I was going to wait. Any way it was kind of amazing the way he refused to leave. How much love did it take to wait this long? To not give up? A lot, I would say. He checked his watch 7 times more before speaking once again:
”Do you think she is going to come?"
I looked at the patient boy standing in front of me, flowers in hand, the gentle smile slowly fading as he realized what
I would probably answer. And to be honest, I was starting to lose faith as well. But I convinced myself she could still
be here, I counted to 6, as that is the maximum amount of time one can wait before answering and so I answered:
“She's probably just late. What time did you agree on, anyway?"
He sighed and was about to answer, when a small melody of 5 distinct tones sounded from the cell phone in his pocket. He took it out and read the text. It seemed as though he read the text 4 times before he answered:
“3 hours ago."
There was a brief moment of silence between us. An echoing, female voice uttered something in the speakers of baggage that should not be left unattended. A red-haired woman with a dog in a purse walked by. In the distance there was some sort of indistinct shouting of hallelujah! In a far off land, a bomb exploded, killing 2 soldiers. A few miles away, a child blew out the candles in his cake for the first time since his parents died. But right there, right now, all that mattered was a text.
The text said:
“Hi! I'm so, so sorry I'm late. I was with this new guy I met a few days ago, and he might just be the ONE! Again, I'm so, so sorry! I'm on my way :)"
I looked up from the cell phone and to my reaction in the glass door, from which my eyes had not inched until this point except for when checking my watch. An elderly man was clinching a newspaper in his hands, staring off into thin air. As I walked away, not stopping to answer who or why, I handed him the flowers.
I could still get the next bus home.