Trains

by Doreen F.

I usually took the train to work because I lived pretty close to the train station and the roads were always blocked. I took the same train to work nearly every day. As there did not stop many trains in my station, by the time you always saw more or less the same people. I usually had a good book with me, but I also loved watching people. Wearing contact lenses myself I had always felt attracted to guys in glasses or contact lenses. The train was the perfect place to watch men in glasses, especially when you could hide behind a book.

For a while now I had been watching a really handsome man who nearly always took the same train as I did. I had never seen him glasses, but one day I thought I had spotted him rubbing his eye in a way contacts wearers use to do. From that day on I watched him even more closely, especially on windy days when I was having trouble with my own contact lenses. I tried not to be too obvious, but from time to time I smiled at him, when he looked at me because he had felt my stares. Sometimes it was really tricky to watch people with being staring at them too obviously.

I had first noticed him in autumn and throughout the winter I had seen him almost daily. I also tried to be in the same compartment as him from time to time, but I never figured out where he left the train, because I got off first Ė or so I thought. Once or twice we had been on the same train back home, but I had only just seen him when going to my bike.

By the time it was spring I knew I was kind of obsessed with this guy, but I could not help it. He was really good-looking, with his dark blond hair, blue eyes and very attractive face. I had given up ever seeing him in glasses and it was great to see him as he was. I had been wearing mine from time to time and I was not sure if I had only imagined him looking at me more than once on those days or if he had indeed. I knew I had to forget him, but how can you forget someone you see five days a week? It was impossible, but it was impossible to talk to him either. I could not bring up the courage to make the first move.

During spring I finally saw him in glasses. The poll count was extremely high that day. At first I did not even see him, as I did not expect him to be in glasses. Then when I suddenly realised who had just walked past me, my knees got so weak that I could hardly make it to the platform. The frames he was wearing looked slightly outdated, nevertheless he looked great. When our eyes met for a second I gave him the most encouraging smile I could manage without blushing from head to toe. Had I not been head over heels before, I would have been now. On the next day he was back in contacts, but his eyes were slightly red and he was reaching for his eye drops more than once. That night we were on the same train back home and he was wearing glasses then. However desperately I wanted to get to know him, it was impossible. I just could not do it. I was convinced he had a girlfriend back home anyway, but he was my "guy on the train." I had even been considering which name I thought would be most suitable for him.

At work I had been really busy because there were incredibly many orders this year and the company was always hiring new staff and there was some restructuring going on. In May I was supposed to get a colleague to help me. He was from one of our partner companies and had been working in other departments of our company before. I had never met him and hoped they were not just dumping him in my office because they did not want him anywhere else. I was really looking forward to having less work as the last months had been very tiring and I always enjoyed having company in the office.

When the day, on which my new colleague was supposed to start in my office, came, I was really excited. I had not been in the office for long, when the door opened and my boss came in saying, "Tracy, this is your new colleague Clark Jenson." Behind him was the guy from the train. I must have looked slightly shocked, but managed to play it cool shook his hands and showed him his desk. My boss left instructing me to show Clark what to do. After he had left I turned to face Clark. Could this be true? I still could not believe it.

"Okay, let me show you what to do for a start. I take it you know this kind of work?"

"Yeah, but itís been a while since I have done anything like that. Theyíve been sending me around quite a lot lately. I hope this turns out to be more permanent."

"I would not mind. The workload has been increasing for years, but they usually need some time to know for sure that I canít do it alone anymore."

We were busy all morning. I usually spent my lunch break outside as we had some chairs there. I asked Clark, if he would like to join me. He did and eventually we started talking about something else than our jobs.

"You know that weíve been on the same train for quite a long time?" I asked casually.

"Yes, I was just about to ask you about that."

"This may sound weird, but I had been wondering where you were working."

"Well, itís kind of normal to think about people you see more often than your own family. At least I think so."

"Thatís right."

"Talking about family, what about you, are you married?"

"Me, gosh no, no Iím not even engaged at the moment. What about you?"

"I left my girlfriend last winter. We were not really in love anymore and well, you know it happens. She was so jealous and wanted to control my life. I couldnít stand it anymore."

The lunch break passed quickly and we had to get back to work. Working was so much easier with Clark by my side. He was fun to be with and learned quickly what he had to do. At night we took the same train home. Clark was such a nice guy, much nicer than I had expected and I made the decision that I really wanted him as a friend, but I was not sure if I wanted more than that. This may sound strange as I had been fantasizing about him for months. But it was different now that I knew him better. Maybe friendship was better than anything else, especially since we were working in the same office now. Only time could show.

From now on Clark and I spent our train rides talking to each and we were becoming really good friends.

While I had been wearing glasses from time to time, Clark had not once worn his, nor had he said anything, when I was wearing mine. He seemed to avoid that topic, although I could see that he was in discomfort with his contacts every once in a while.

One day when we were waiting for the train to come the wind blew quite strong and Clark had some dust blown into his eyes. He blinked a lot, but it did not seem to help and tears were running from his eye. Once inside the train, when it did not get better, I could not help saying something, "Clark, are you sure your eye is okay? I know how painful this is."

"I think I have to take out my lens. Do you have a mirror or something?"

"Sure, but be careful not to drop the contact."

He took it out and put it in again. It seemed to be better, at least until we got to the office. Once inside Clark rushed to the bathroom. It took quite a while until he got back. His eye was red and slightly swollen.

"Damn allergy! I wonít be able to put the lens in again for a while and I donít have my eye drops with me." He took out the other lens and put it into the contacts case where the other lens was.

I did not really know how to react since this did not seem to be his favourite topic. I did not really mind talking about it, but sensing that this was a sensitive matter, I kept quiet. Clark pulled out the pair of glasses I had seen him in before. They looked several years old and he squinted a lot despite wearing them. I could hardly say something like "nice glasses" because the frames were anything but nice. Clark looked so different and I wished he had frames that suited him better.

During the lunch break I managed to steer our conversation towards glasses as Clark was squinting at something in the distance.

"Your glasses prescription is not quite up to date, is it?"

"No, I hardly ever wear them unless I have to. I got these some years ago."

"I always keep mine up to date, just in case I need them and I wear them quite a lot at home. Whatís you prescription anyway?"

"I donít know, itís high enough that I need glasses when I donít wear contacts. I think itís around minus 6 or 7, but my glasses are not more than minus 4, I think."

"Iím minus 5."

"Yeah, and you look great in glasses, but look at me."

"Maybe you should get new frames. Picking the right frames is really important. I bet some stylish new frames would really suit you much better."

"You think so? Would you help me pick new frames?"

"Sure, but you should get your eyes tested before to get the right prescription in your glasses."

"Thanks. Iíll call my optometrist to get an appointment."

On Saturday Clark and I met in town. He had an appointment and wanted me to go with him in order to help him pick frames afterwards. While he had his eyes tested I was browsing through the frames. After a while Clark came out and I made him try on nearly every single pair of glasses. Eventually we agreed on a pair of brownish plastic frames which made him even more attractive to me. We were told to pick them up an hour later. In the meantime we went to a small cafť in the old town. I was really excited. I wanted to see Clark in his new glasses, but I was almost sure he would not be wearing them right away. So I just asked him if he wanted to have dinner at my place. He accepted.

At the optician he just put on his glasses to have to assistant check if they fitted. Then he put them in his pocket, paid and we left. At my place I excused myself and took out my contacts. Clark was sitting in my living room. I sat down and looked at Clark. He looked up and smiled at me.

"How come youíre so much at ease wearing glasses and I always consider it a punishment?"

"I donít know, but you could put on your new glasses and show me what you look like."

"Okay, Iíll just take out my contacts." He went into the bathroom and on his way back he squinted around and with a sheepish look on his face he asked, "Tracy, do you know where I put the jacket with my glasses?"

"Iíll get it for you." In fact I even handed him his glasses. When he put them on I had felt blood rushing through every part of my body. Clark looked drop dead gorgeous wearing his new glasses.

"Wow, this feels so weird. What do you think?"

"I think we did a great job choosing these frames. Take a look in the mirror and see for yourself."

Clark was really checking himself out. "So?" I wanted to know.

"I really have to thank you. I never thought I could like the way I look in glasses, but I do."

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