...Euston Road (A Vignette)
HE IS THE LAST FUCKING PERSON I WANT TO SEE AT KING’S CROSS. I have been out of sight of him for, what, not even a quarter of an hour and where do I see him?
On the same fucking platform for the Northern line. And of course he’s going the same way I am. He’s rifling through his posh jacket pocket for something.
I could walk back to my flat. It’s only really less than an hour’s walk, and I walked to work constantly. When I was employed, I mean.
“Hey, you followin’ me?” It’s not him. It’s Steve.
And I sigh in fucking relief.
“Should’ve texted me,” he says, swinging his briefcase into my leg.
I smile. “Nah, mate. I was just heading back. Was gonna text you when I got in.” I hold up the Sainsbury bags. “Got our food.”
“Oh, good,” Steve sighs. He checks his phone and harrumphs. “Wanna do takeaway again tonight?”
“That’s the plan.”
Steve hums before switching his briefcase to his other hand. “Oh, Sam, from Marketing’s comin’ over to do some campaign stuff with me.”
I glance at him. “...that all?”
He shoves me. “She’s married.”
I grin. “Hasn’t stopped me before.”
Steve looks away for a second. “Yeah, but you’re kinda a slag.” He takes in a breath and looks back to me, saying, “I didn’t mean – ”
“I know,” I sigh. I still nudge him. “C’mon. I’m teasin’ you.”
He smirks even though he still looks sad about the jab and says, “I know.”
Steve and I have been thick as thieves since middle school. Though now it’s more like I’m mooching off him. He complains, but I keep the flat stocked up. Food, toiletries, furniture, you name it. That’s my contribution. He pays for it, cleans it, and I stock it.
“Goin’...” He clears his throat. “...out tonight?” Steve asks.
I hear the train coming. And I shake my head. “Nah. Still a little sore from last night.”
Steve sighs. “Whoever was over yesterday, don’t bring them again.”
“Don’t remember their name, anyways,” I say, shrugging.
“Good. You sounded like you were having an exorcism for five hours.”
“He freed my soul from the Devil, though.”
And Steve laughs. “You’re disgustin’, Tom.”
I smirk, and my eyes catch the train speeding past DAG. The incoming train pushed up this rush of air, and it ruffles his hair, catching him clearly off-guard. He’s got headphones on.
It’s...okay, I don’t wanna admit this, but it’s a cute moment. Sue me.
Steve and I’re herded onto the train. He asks what I’m getting for tea.
In the next car over, DAG’s pressed up against the corner end of the train car, looking lost and disheveled.
I mean, what’s out of the ordinary about that?
I look away. How he’s looking’s annoying me.
“Hey.” I look back at Steve. He’s watching the automated announcements roll over people’s heads. “I think we’re on the wrong train.”
“Oh,” I begin, and then trail off.
There’s something in DAG’s expression that’s just...off. He looks knackered. Alone. Just like everyone else on the train. Except they’re all distracting themselves with something. But even with music, DAG looks so sad.
I don’t answer Steve about the food. Or if we’re on the right or wrong train. And even when he’s certain we’re on the wrong train, I’m not listening. I just keep staring like I’m frozen. I look away and just keep thinking about DAG’s dumb, sad face.
And how much it fucking pisses me off.