How much time do you think it´s necessary to fall in love? Seconds, minutes, hours…? To be honest, I thought it´d never happen to me since I´m not that kind of romantic woman. However, everything changes in a Monday morning when I´m in the subway waiting for the train to go to my office. Who falls in love in a Monday morning? In a subway?
Monday morning. Subway. Well, it happens to me.
I´m late for work. I´m lawyer, and I have an office at Paul´s Churchyard. I have an important meeting this morning, and I’m late because I spent too much time studying a contract last night. I overslept.
Anxiously, I click my fingers, tiptoe many times as if I´m in the gym doing a calf-toning exercise. I stretch my neck and look to the tunnel waiting for the train to arrive and open the doors so I can rush inside and continue my short trip.
The expected moment arrives. The train stops and opens the doors. Many people get off and others get on. I lift my right leg at the moment the doors open, but I freeze in my place—maybe with my right leg still in the air. I don´t know.
I just sense my heart pounding strong, fast, and uncontrollable when a tall man with brown hair and big blue eyes that seem small pieces of the sky looks at me. He is inside the train.
Time seems to stop and people disappear. I can´t say how long we´ve been staring at each other, just seconds because when I notice the doors of the train start to close and people elbow each other trying to gain a space inside the train. I don´t see the mysterious man anymore. The train moves away.
I try to move my legs in an attempt to get on. It´s too late. I just see the train moving and carrying away the handsome man. My heart pounds faster and stronger, almost in a painful way.
Desperation possesses me. I brush my hair back with trembling hands and turn to the sides as if looking for some help. There are many people around me—people who just got off the train and are leaving the underground. I´m still here—in the same place. There´s nothing I can do but wait for the next train and accept the fact that I won´t see that man again, and I´ll arrive too late for the meeting. What are my chances of finding him in a city like London? In a city with millions of people?
I take a deep breath. “Okay, nobody falls in love in a few seconds. I don´t believe in ‘instalove.’ It doesn´t exist. I read a lot about it and concluded that it is a figment of their people imagination.”
I try to convince myself because I recognize the symptoms, I read about them once: accelerated heartbeat, sweaty palms, a chilly and hot sensation that races through the body, an exquisite sensation that makes even a Monday morning looks like the most wonderful day…
As those people leave and other ones arrive to take the next train, I turn to the side and… “Oh, my gosh!” A tall man is walking toward me—his blue eyes shining, a smile on his face.
I can´t help but smile back and wait for him to approach me. I guess I´ll miss the next train. I guess I´ll miss the contract with an important law office. Can I reschedule the meeting? What will I say?
He stops in front of me. “I´m sorry. It´s unusual. I´m late for a meeting but I had to… Well, I´m Phillip Matthews.” He seems as confused as I am.
“Phillip Matthews, the lawyer?” A hysterical laugh escapes me. It always happens when I´m nervous.
He nods—his smile broader.
“I´m Jessica Hayes. I´m late for our meeting too.” I extend my hand to shake his. Instead, he leans forward and presses a kiss on my cheek as if we are good and old friends.
“Maybe this meeting may occur somewhere else. Would you like a coffee?” He offers me his arm.
He is a gentleman. He is!
I hesitate for a moment. I hear the noise of the train arriving fast at the station. I should go to my office. Oh, I should! Instead, I intertwine my arm in his and smile. “Why not?”
I hate coffee. It doesn´t matter right now. I´ve drank much coffee during endless meetings to sign important contracts. I´ve drank coffee to be polite.