Looking at the screen, she found herself wondering about many different things. And none of them were related to her work, which she had abandoned for the last half an hour.
Most of all she thought of all the bewildering things that were happening around the world and the Black Lives Matter in particular. Even though it started far away, she kept on seeing about it in the news and reading in newspapers. It touched her solely because she herself was black, but unlike most people she tried hard not to be judged by her skin, rather than her personality and skills she could offer.
She glanced at the clock and thought she should call it a night and head home. After all, it would be much better to take a look at the documents in the morning on a fresh head. As she started to get ready to walk out of the office, she noticed she was the last one there, so she switched the lights off before leaving.
The last few days were hectic and filled with work, making her stay at work overtime again and again. Usually she had no objections to overtime – after all, she had additional money after having to be left in the office working late. But since she was forced to do that the whole week, she was looking forward to Saturday, when she could cuddle before the television with a bucket of ice cream and forget anything that goes out of the series she had started watching.
She loved her evening routine when she rode back to Hither Green in a train, relaxing from a hard day’s work and letting her mind go blank. The most adored part of her ride was looking out the window, without a single thought to distract her from it.
Today, however, was an unusual day.
“Late night work?” A man’s voice sounded nearby, and she flinched, startled by the sudden sound. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I did not mean to scare you at all.”
She looked up to an awkwardly smiling man, who was sitting down on one of the seats across hers.
“No bother, I was just too deep in my thoughts.” She replied, looking at his handsome face and his smooth ebony skin. His eyes were so dark they seemed completely black and because of that were extremely captivating.
The man smiled, and she could not deny he had an unusual charm.
“My name is Martin,” he said.
“Alisha,” she replied, not able to hold back a smile.
“I’ve seen you a lot riding back home so late, and I was wondering…” Martin glanced at her hands for a moment. “Are you a doctor?”
Alisha burst into laughing, caught by surprise.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so rude,” she said after calming herself. “No, I am not. I work in a legal firm in London.”
“Oh. That explains it. But I am sorry, I only thought that you might be a doctor because I usually return so late after my shift.”
“Really? What kind of a doctor are you?”
“A heart surgeon in Kingston Hospital.”
“I always thought heart surgeons usually live in London, where it’s closer to work.”
“I used to. But I got tired of all the crowds and overall loudness of it.” Martin smiled again. “So I moved out to the South East London, where it’s less people and more quiet.”
Alisha looked at him, finding him even more attractive than before. Even though she did not like to find new acquaintances on a train home or to work, there was something about him she found absolutely charming. And, thinking of it, she realised that she had already seen him from time to time – on the train and when she got out on her station.
“So where do you live now?” She asked him.
“Hither Green, on Mount Pleasant Road. I just got captivated by the amazing houses there and got lucky getting a good deal.”
“It seems we live not far from each other.” Alisha smiled back. “I have a house on Littlewood.”
“Would you mind if we take a walk together?”
She thought for a moment and then shrugged her shoulder.
“Sure, why not?” she replied finally.
It was easy to talk to him, though Alisha had little experience with men at all – she was too caught up in work to go out too often, which caused all the breakups she had experienced over the years. But there was something about Martin that caught her attention – he was obviously after another shift at the hospital, but he still found some strength to walk up and introduce himself.
As they talked, she found out that he was gathering his courage for a long time, but always found himself an excuse – too tired, did not want to look like a stalker and more reasons to stay away. But today he had his mind changed by a woman he had visited after a very hard surgery. She told him something that he could not disregard. She said that it could seem that we have enough time, but after all, there is always not enough of it, so everyone should risk a little from time to time.
And he risked walking up and talking to Alisha, who he found very attractive with the bright brown eyes and shiny black hair she obviously took care of very thoroughly.
They parted on the corner of Littlewood, and Alisha smiled at the thought that she had just received an invitation to a date on Saturday.
She walked home, thinking how sad her evening started – with all the thoughts of awful news and the work she was distracted from. And how wonderful she now felt, looking forward to meeting Martin again to get a cup of coffee.
That night Alisha thought that after everything that had been happening, she might finally have her life changed for the better. Maybe time has come for her life to take a new turn, because every little thing in life matters – even when a stranger smiles to you on a train…