She looks across at the man sitting right opposite her on the train. He didn’t look older than 30 and boy, did his tan skin accentuate his handsome features. As ‘Break the rules‘ by Charli XCX continued blasting through her headphones, she thought about what it was like to run her fingers through his thick jet-black hair. She smiled to herself, feeling her cheeks heat up at the thought.
He looked at the girl sitting across him. She was smiling to herself. Her blonde hair as yellow as corn and her cheeks turning rosier by the second. He smiled to himself. “She’s the one.”
The old woman next to the girl nudged her. She snapped out of her dreamy thoughts of the man on the train and pulled off her headphones. She looked to her right to meet the expression of a rather unhappy old lady.
“I-I’m sorry…” she said, “Is my music too loud?”
The old lady’s features stayed as it was. “Stop smiling.”
“I’m sorry… Did you just ask me to stop smiling?” The girl asked.
“If you don’t stop doing it, you’re going to regret it.” The old lady replied.
The girl frowned. “I do believe that if I feel like smiling, I can. It is none of your business and you have no right to threaten me!”
With her eyebrows still furrowed and her mood now ruined, she put her headphones back on, turning the volume a notch louder than it was before. She hoped her music was now loud enough to annoy the old woman beside her. Her eyes wandered back to where the man sat, hoping to catch a glimpse of him again. Only this time, he was no longer there. She looked around but he seemed to have dropped off while she was giving the old woman a piece of her mind. Disappointed, she slouched back into her seat, silently hoping to meet him again the next day.
She entered her apartment. “I’m home!”
“Daisy! Come in here.” She heard her house-mate call. “You’ve got to see this.”
She walked into the living room and looked at her house-mate, who was watching the television intently.
“What’s this?” Daisy asked.
“It’s breaking news.” She replied.
Her house-mate looked at her. “Wait, were you on this train home?”
She looked at the station where the news crew was reporting from – it was the last stop on her line.
“I think so.. But, what does that have to do with the news?” Daisy said.
“Someone was murdered on the train.” She said.
“What?” Daisy said.
“Someone said it happened while they were going through the tunnel.” She explained.
“Well someone would have heard her scream.” Daisy said.
“That’s if she could have screamed.” She replied.
Her house-mate gestured to the interview between the reporter and the police officer.
“The victim is a female in her early 20s. She has blond hair and was sitting in the 3rd carriage. We believe that during her attack, she wasn’t able to scream for help because the killer slashed her throat from the left to the right, like a smile. Witnesses said they remembered her sitting in one of the seats, plugged into her iPod. There was no one around her that was acting suspicious, neither did she seem like she knew anyone on the train. We are still working on getting more information at this point.”
Daisy fell into the couch as her mind started swimming with what ifs and what could have been when she heard a familiar voice come through the television.
“I’m telling you – you have to be careful of that man! He’s the one who killed her! When he sees you smile on the train, he’ll come for you.”
Daisy immediately looked up to see the face of the old lady, who she was seated next to, on the train.
“This is the man who killed that girl.” The old lady said, showing the camera a drawing of the man.
Daisy felt a sudden urge to hurl the contents of her dinner. It was him. The man she had sat opposite on the train. The one she was smiling about. If the old lady hadn’t stopped her from smiling, she might not have been safe in her apartment, next to her friend.
“Did you see that guy on the train?” Her house-mate asked.
She felt a chill run down her spine as she thought of the first time she laid her eyes on him. Determined to remember this as a lesson and that she was nearly a victim, she nodded.
“Phew. Thank God you’re safe!” Her house-mate said, giving her a side hug.
“You know… Come to think of it… You actually fit the description of the victim.” Her house-mate said, breaking the hug. “You’re lucky he didn’t see you.”
Daisy nodded as she looked at the old lady, still ranting on-screen. “Yeah… I am lucky… Very lucky.”