Flash Fiction: Rush Hour Crushing
Bisola plodded into her West London flat and dumped several bright orange bags of groceries on the kitchen counter. She kicked off her heeled boots and slipped her aching feet into cosy slippers. The flat felt draughty.
“Darn, Conor left the windows ajar again,” she muttered to herself.
She stretched across the kitchen sink and yanked the offending windows shut. Conor, her fiancé, was probably still on his way home from work. The Central line had experienced severe delays, so it would be a long journey back for him.
Bisola and Conor had been engaged for just over a year now. They were in no real hurry to plan the wedding. The thought of navigating the inevitable minefield of clashing cultures filled them both with dread. The mixture of his conservative Irish family and her exuberant Nigerian one seemed bound to be a recipe for disaster.
She shuddered at the thought of it and looked out the kitchen window. It was only 5 pm but the cold winter weather had caused the skies to darken quickly, prompting her to crave something warm.
She opened a tub of ready-made chicken soup and picked up a mug from the cabinet overhead. The mug was an old Christmas gift from her to Conor. A self-proclaimed coffee addict, Conor was always receiving mugs of all shapes and sizes.
This one was personalised with a picture of his face plastered on it with a wide grin. Hair the colour of bright copper contrasted with his pale skin. His dark spectacles completed the comical, geeky look.
My lovable geek, she thought to herself.
She emptied the contents of the tub into the mug and placed it in the microwave. She had a couple of minutes to spare while she waited for the soup to warm up.
She pulled out a crumpled Metro newspaper from her backpack and walked into the living room. The paper had been squashed between an array of miscellaneous items all day and seemed relieved to be out in the open.
In search of some light-hearted articles she flipped to the Rush-hour crush page. It was a section dedicated to helping commuter cupids find the love that’s all around them. She giggled as she began to read;
Brown-eyed Italian stallion on the 7:50am train to Huddersfield. Fancy a pizza and drink? – Brown haired girl with hat
To the blonde guy who gets on the Thameslink at Kentish Town dressed as Mr Chips from Catchphrase. You make me think of popular sayings. Coffee sometimes? – Asian girl with blue head phones
Bisola paused as she heard the jangle of keys turning in the lock. Conor was home. Before long he walked into the living room with his usual bright smile. His tall frame filled up the space.
“Hey babe,” he said casually and winked at her.
Her insides felt warm and she smiled at him.
“How was your day?” Bisola asked.
“Not bad, it’s Friday after all,” he replied as he shrugged off his heavy parka and threw it at her.
“Stop it, you!” she laughed.
The aroma of chicken soup wafted into the living room just as a distinct ding rang out from the kitchen.
“Dinner’s ready,” she said in a sing-song manner and made to get up.
“Mmmh, I smell chicken… I’ll grab that for you,” Conor said as he rubbed his palms together and headed into the kitchen.
She straightened out his parka and lay it on the ottoman next to her. A dark patch was spread across the upper pocket of his jacket. Another coffee mishap perhaps. She settled back into the sofa and kept reading.
To the cute ginger nerd who jumps on the 8:30am Central line at West Acton. Though I bumped into you, spilling your coffee, you winked and asked for my number; alas I was too muddled to respond. I’ll make you coffee every morning.
– short blondie in red coat