3WW, "Mass Transit"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are grin, jumble and naked.

Mass Transit
They met, haphazardly, on an express 3 train, one of the older ones with the yellow-and-orange butt-cupper seats where everyone tried to leave a spot open on either side of them, so as not to have to deal with the touch another human being for the duration of the ride.

Devon Richter had entered the car from the end door, the one closest to the turnstiles, and hoped upon hope that someone leaving would vacate his favorite standing spot by the opposite door.

Kate Beecher entered the car through the middle door and was propelled forward into the crowded car by the crush of the bodies surging and had to stretch to grasp middle pole, which ran down the length of the car, except for spaces at the doors. She gripped the metal while holding her sleeve over her exposed palm, clutching mostly cloth, rather than the cool sweatiness of the steel.

They both watched as riders did their usual dance at each successive downtown station, standers sitting in slots that opened by those who were getting off and when a good spot to stand opened up – always at the doors, where you had the luxury of standing next to just one other person and you could rest your ass against the steel while the train lurched between stops.

Richter was lucky. He’d claimed his door spot – he usually didn’t take a seat during rush times, since manners drilled into him since grade school meant he’d be taking the seat of an old woman or a lady with kids or some disabled vet – and slumped into the door.

For Kate, it took three more stops before a seat opened up, and right under Devon’s armpit too, as he held onto the steel that framed the bookend of the seat row. He didn’t use his shirt to hold onto the pole like she did, secure in the knowledge (his own, of course) that it was much better to get somewhere and wash your hands thoroughly and quite vigorously to combat any and all germs that lingered on all train surfaces.

During a rather violent train surge as the 3 came into Grand Central, Devon lost grip of the steel and brushed Kate’s hair with his fingers, and got a pinky stuck where she had gathered her bunny-colored brown hair into a ponytail.

“Really sorry,” he said, face aflame.

“No worries,” she said, her white skin flush around her cheekbones. “This train driver, huh?”

“He’s making me a little motion sick,” Devon said, captivated as he watched the swell of Kate’s breasts as he stood over her scoop-necked blouse.

He grinned. She grinned back, a toothy smile that turned upward at both corners of her lips, which Devon found endearing and more than slightly erotic.

Nothing more was said between them until 14th Street, where both were to exit. Kate got up from her seat and Devon ran squarely into the back of her – his groin pressed into her butt – while adjusting his headphones. The collision then propelled her forward, squishing her solidly into a elderly and rather portly Korean woman who was having trouble getting her wheeled luggage cart they all seemed to have these days rolling forward on two wheels.

“Really sorry,” he said into her ear, as close as he was, truly invading her personal space.

“No worries,” she said. “What’s with all these luggage carts, huh?”

They stepped on the platform one after another and turned right, Devon exiting the station through the metal bar gate while Kate hit the turnstile, and both took a last look before the hit opposite stairs.

“You, ah, I know it’s a little early for a beer or something, but a coffee maybe?”

Her sheets were a jumble between them and Devon had propped himself on an elbow, uncovered and completely naked, and watched her sleep. He studied her, observed Kate’s chest rise and fall, listened to her snore, which was something of a cross between a purr and a hiccup. He wore an odd little smile on his face, and as she woke, he brushed his graying hair back out of his face.

“Hi, you,” she said.

“Hello yourself.”

They kissed, and as they parted, she looked into Devon’s face, trying to discern the grin, which she felt was a mix of sly and somewhat satisfied knowing.

“Oh, good God, you’re married, aren’t you?”

“No,” he said as he put his face into the warm nape of her neck. “But I am considering the possibilities.”


VL Sheridan said...

Very sweet. Nicely done. If only it were really that simple. SIGH

The Mommy Chronicles said...

Well done! Like the happy tone!

oldegg said...

Great descriptions, build up and conclusion. OK, it seemed to go too easy but the mutual attraction was there from the start and you have got to be lucky once in a while. Really good read.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Very nice. Like VL Sheridan, I think it's a shame it's not that easy, but maybe once in a while, it is. I like to think so.

Matt Merritt said...

I love the jump from coffee to bed. Seems like it should be jarring to do that, but it worked nicely. I enjoyed this!

Jen Brubacher said...

You got public transit down so well it's scary. :) And I like the jump from coffee to bed, too. It suits the way they met.

Monica Manning said...

'Bunny-colored brown hair'. I love that description. You've described what many women fantasize. A chance meeting, love at first site. You might want to consider writing chick lit.

Steve Green said...

A lovely feelgood story, you can only hope that things work out okay for them, the last line is a beauty.

Janet Aldrich (TEC4) said...

Hope it winds up being as good as it feels. nice story.

Sulci Collective said...

wow a softer side of you! Funnily enough I nearly ended up punching a man on my commuter train this week for having a conversation with his mate in which he called me a dick because I insisted on reading my book standing up. I turned round and called him out on it and he paled and backed off. I'm not a violent man, but I admit to feeling quite pleased with myself after this little encounter. Got him to shut up so I could read my book in peace! Course if it had been a woman, different story entirely

marc nash

Alice Audrey said...

They work fast, eh? For a minute I thought we had a time jump. Great use of the 3 words.

Please come check out my three words.

Clive Martyn said...

Nice :) wish all train encounters ended up so well.

Jeff Pickett said...

Sign me up for the next subway ride!

Mike Robertson said...

I'm just really glad he didn't say "really sorry" there in bed with her, and she reply "no problem. Funny how often that happens first time, eh?"

It was a cheerful and hopeful little tale. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful modern romance =) You are an incredible story-teller

Anonymous said...

Thom, lovely to see you again! Too long, buddy. This was a sweet, hopeful contemporary love story, and I love this side of your writing.

The "butt-cupper" seats are the subway cars Koch, in his usual wisdom, bought from Japan, where they build for folks with smaller frames. Some bargain, huh?!