Moving blackness

The wagon was nearly full. As my head was crossing the door to the cabin, I could see complete columns of heads stretching from the first row of seats to the next door on the other side. Only a few seats were unoccupied, and I glanced from side to side to choose where I would settle.

The first seat available next to the entrance looked unavailable, due to a pair of legs extended straight under it. My eyes swept over the next few rows, only to discover that the few seats unoccupied by people were mostly occupied by their belongings, and ended back at the initial position.

Invoking the power of the human voice over things, I asked the person sitting next to the pair of legs if the seat was available, with my line of sight crossing briefly the attention of the owner of the legs as a token of dual addressing. Instantly, the legs retracted and I could let myself fall into place.

A sense of awareness immediately dawned upon me, unforeseen after two hours of flight. Instead of falling asleep quietly, as I usually do in trains that bring me home, my attention was caught by my two immediate neighbors.

The legs were probably the first item to establish contact with my subconscious. Now retracted, their leather would wrinkle at the fold of the knees; and with the crotch these were the only two areas where the black fabric was not faultlessly smooth, down to the limit of the boots, at the edge of the calves. The pants, like the boots, were faultlessly following the curves of the flesh underneath — only the two buttons at the top would give away that this skin did not belong to the human being it protected.

As my line of sight was raising again, I was expecting to follow the path to the typical traits of a character used by time, hardship, life obstacles and an overall lack of self-care that I already met fitting in similar pants. Instead, my awe blossomed.

Two simple pieces of clothing were fitting a lean torso and the material was not loose enough to hide a toned layer of muscles and little body fat. Two large hands with healthy and perfectly trimmed nails were folded together on top, and their rosy skin appeared smooth and clean. Despite the absence of hair on the hands themselves, I could see clearly and without any doubt that their hue was belonging to a blonde blue-eyed dutch or german man.

Although my curiosity had become acute, social protocols were still applying; my first look at his face was short and going sideways, as if I was on my way to look through the window.

Short, but rich. His eyes were scrutinizing sideways my ring, as mine had been doing a few seconds. His face and head were shaved short but not bare, revealing the hair pattern of a man in his early thirties. The shape of his jaws was perfect, and the combination of his jaws, mouth, nose, eyes and eyebrows were a display of well-tended manhood and assurance. He was definitely hot, albeit calm and seemingly laid-back.

A few seconds passed, during which I was registering this vision and trying to focus on the trees outside the window; and then he started to address my immediate neighbor, commenting on the sight outside.

His voice was soft. This, together with his concise clarity in his use of the Dutch language, finished to convince me that I was in the presence of someone special. He was explaining our geographical surroundings to his friend on my side, with the patience and preciseness that would be appropriate for teaching. His friend was far more quiet, speaking a few words every now and then. He would speak Dutch as well, but with an accent that I would consider German.

Who were they? I soon understood that they were on their way to Brussels. Did they meet in Amsterdam? Why would they take the train, since I was convinced that they would rather use a motorbike?

In the mist of building a number of scenarios that would explain their presence next to me, an idea struck me as exceptionally significant: they looked free.