Spicy Eyes By D.I. Jolly
I hate the morning commute. People herding themselves into metal tubes to be transported from point A to point B and then take themselves off to their form of conveyer belt job, and stamp out whatever crap they get paid to stamp out. It makes me sick, mostly because I’m no better. I run through the same scheduled routine day, after day, after day, just wash rinse repeat, which I also do, and why? Because that’s what the bottle told me to do. Everyone the same, everyone standing around waiting for the world to change, hoping it’ll get better, hoping it’ll just happen to them. Plugged into headphones listening to more interesting people tell more interesting stories, or the music to make them believe that they’re the hero of some great adventure that they just can’t wait to avoid. Turn a blind eye, because it goes against the routine. And I’m exactly the same. I, like everyone else, stand here thinking I’m the special one in the crowd, the one who’s different, who’s not going to look away. But honestly, I don’t think I am. Sometimes, normally on a Thursday, I think that if I could read minds I wouldn’t even notice, because everyone is thinking the same dissatisfied diatribe about the state of the country, their jobs and public fucking transport.
And then I saw her, well, and then I saw them. The two brightest sapphires shining out like a beacon of hope against a sea of grey business suits and black pin skirts. Two eyes staring out at the world with excitement and possibility, and I saw it, my moment, my adventure, my opportunity to not turn away. I fell into the sea of her eyes and imagined myself swimming in them. I could picture talking to her, kissing her, fucking her, spending the rest of my life with her. Her face, those eyes suddenly became the face of every wet dream I’d ever had. Then the train stopped, the doors opened and I watched her get out. Watched my moment pass and felt the cement set around my feet as the words, ‘I’ll be late for work’ echoed around the hollow space where my imagination used to be. My eyes tracked her as she stepped passed, the doors beeped to tell me they were closing and I felt my sanity explode filling my veins with an effervescent insanity and I frantically pushed passed people and fell out the door just as they shut behind me.
I had to know more, had to talk to her. I wasn’t about to let my hope die; I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. A part of me expected to find others, it seemed too obvious and too alluring. Other people must have seen her, felt her, felt the pull, the draw, but I was alone and they hadn’t noticed the magic. Whether or not that meant something I didn’t have time to tell and I ran, ran in the direction she had walked. Following an imagery trail of light trailing out of her eyes, those eyes, those bright eyes. I had a fifty, fifty chance of picking the right set of stairs, and when I realised I had made the right choice it felt like another sign, another burst of righteous inspiration. I slowed my run to a brisk walk, intent to catch my breath as well as my destiny and as I got close, she whirled on me. Focused the full intensity of her gaze, mesmerising me, hypnotizing me. The world around us faded away and I once again fell into the deep blue pools. Then her words struck, slapped me in the face and sanity reared its ugly head and threatened to overwhelm.
“Could you please stop following me!”
The spell shattered and I found myself standing on the sidewalk cheeks burning with embarrassment and shame. Suddenly aware that the people walking by were staring at me, judging me and a few larger, probably more handsome and charming men had taken notice and were discussing coming to help the woman, possibly girl, now that I was close enough to see her properly.
“I… I just wanted to tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”
She made a face of frustration and swore at me, called me a few names and walked off quickly. The wonder I had seen on the train suddenly diminished, shrinking into herself because I had dared to glimpse her magic and presume it was my own. The trail of light fading to grey, sucking the air out of my lungs and leaving me lost in the city I had lived in my whole life. As I walked back to the station and boarded my routine I wondered if I was actually the guy people warned their children about. The creep, the stalker, the entitled wannabe, the reason magic didn’t exist.
I wanted to tell myself lies, excuses, made-up details about her life to make it not my fault, but I couldn’t, all I could think about were those eyes, those magical eyes, and wonder if I’d ever see them again, and how I would act next time. Because once she got to know me, she’d realise I wasn’t the things she called me. It wasn’t lost, it wasn’t over, a painting wasn’t a single layer of paint, a novel wasn’t a first draft, there were too many signs for it to be over. I just needed a second chance, right?
The train arrived at my station and I was somehow still on time for work, or maybe no one noticed or they just didn’t care that I was late. Or maybe I wasn’t and it hadn’t happened. Just another daydream in the sea of impossibilities, distracting us as we swim in circles desperately hoping that we’ll one day find land.