Tom had always believed that the subway was a place of anonymity, a realm where strangers gathered for their journey, never to cross paths again. Yet, as he boarded the train one morning to work, his perspective shifted entirely.
As he settled into a standing position near the subway doors, he glanced around the train, a habitual act to pass the time. But this time, his eyes locked onto someone who instantly stole his breath away. A woman with a beauty so captivating that she took his breath away. Her reddish-tinted hair cascaded gracefully down her back, and her eyes, a shade of hazel that seemed to hold galaxies within, were focused intently on the book she was reading.
Tom could barely look at her for more than a few seconds. Her beauty was so overwhelming that it felt like staring at the sun; it could only be taken in small, cautious doses. He understood, with a sense of resignation, that she was entirely out of his league. She existed in a world he could only dream of entering.
Yet, he couldn't help himself. He stole a glance and crafted an elaborate fantasy in his mind where their paths converged. It was a beautiful thought that he knew could never be realized. Yet it engulfed the monotonous commute with a shimmering touch of magic.
As minutes ticked by, his heart raced. The commute lasted precisely 23 minutes, and with every passing second, he wondered if her destination was the same or even farther. Should he gather the courage to make the first move, or should he let destiny take its course?
Sweat gathered on his forehead, and his pulse quickened. The urgency weighed on him like a crushing burden. Time was running out, and he had to decide—take a chance or forever wonder what could have been.
He decided to take one last glance. As he gazed at her, a miracle happened. Her eyes lifted ever so slightly from her book. Their eyes met, and Tom felt his heart stop in that fleeting moment. It was as though the universe had granted him a glimpse of paradise, and he nearly died from the sheer intensity of emotion.
For a second, they shared a connection that transcended the boundaries of the subway car and filled Tom's heart with hope. He wondered if this was a sign, a signal that he should indeed make a move. Could this be destiny nudging him forward?
But as the train arrived at the next stop, a tall, confident man standing next to him stepped forward, extending a hand toward the seated young lady. She took it, and they walked out of the subway car together.
Tom's heart sank, and his dream shattered. He watched them disappear into the busy platform, unable to tear his eyes away. Crushed and defeated, he realized that he had missed his chance. The girl who had filled his thoughts with enchantment for nearly 23 minutes was gone.
As the subway doors closed, Tom sat down in her empty seat with a heavy heart. He clung to the memory of that shared glance, of the smile that had nearly brought him to his knees. It was a brief encounter, a fleeting moment, but she had been a part of his life for a few seconds.
As the train closed its doors, Tom understood that love was rare and beautiful and could sometimes enter your life in the most unexpected ways. It could be a brief encounter, a stolen moment, but it was real. It was a reminder that love could be found in the most ordinary places, even on a crowded subway car during a routine commute.
With a destiny-filled smile, Tom pondered his encounter with the beautiful girl on the train. At the next stop, Tom stepped off the train. He knew he had a long day of work ahead. But as he walked away from the subway station and into the city streets, he couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement. Love had touched his life, if only for a moment, and taught him an important lesson. It was a precious gift that could last a lifetime!
About the Creator
Chan Economics LLC, Public Speaker
Chief Global Economist & Public Speaker JPM Chase ('94-'19).
Senior Economist Barclays ('91-'94)
Economist, NY Federal Reserve ('89-'91)
Econ. Prof. (Univ. of Dayton, '86-'89)