Living next to the subway.
Living next to the subway had been an emotional rollercoaster. When she first moved in, it was annoying. The constant sounds of the trains passing, people bustling their way in and out of the entrance, heels on tiled floor. A few months into living in the apartment above the subway and the sounds had become more of a comfort than anything, often white noise to fall asleep to. It was comfortable. On Wednesdays she would work from home, her desk next to the window looking down at the tiled ramp that led into the darkness of the metro. When her brain was slow, and the words couldn’t flow she would people watch. Businesswomen rushing to work in heels they would take off the moment they were at the desk, men in suits with the top button of their shirt done up just waiting to breathe again. Maybe some kids with their parents on a rare day out, or a couple going shopping or to see family. Students on their way to university. A man busking.
She didn’t know when the man started busking, but he didn’t do it in the station where it was warm and full of people – he did it right on the entrance. This prompted most people to ignore him, as of course they were busy, but it was also too cold to stand around, not to mention forming a crowd would block the entrance. She thought it sad, as he was very, very good at what he did, she just wanted to shout down from her window at him and tell him to move inside where ‘the money was better’. But what did she know about busking? Maybe people were more likely to toss a couple quid on their way down the ramp without really thinking about it.
That became a new routine, she would hear him in the morning whilst she got ready for work, she even began leaving the bathroom door open whilst she showered so she wouldn’t interrupt his tunes. She sat at the window whilst her hair dried, perching her chin over the windowsill on her hands, looking down at the young fellow as his eyes swapped between passers-by, hoping to get their attention. It was a Friday morning, people seemed to be a little more generous as his guitar case was slowly filling with little brass coins, once again she was watching him from her window, but this time, he looked up at her. She felt her cheeks turn red like plump tomatoes, and ducked back inside. She sat under the window, wondering why she was so embarrassed to have been discovered, but also feeling like she could never be seen again. She shut the curtains, and the window, and went about her day as if it had never happened.
One long day at the publishing office later, she arrived back at her apartment, flicked the light on, and dumped a pile of folders, files and her coat on the sofa. She practically collapsed on her desk, almost fell asleep, before she heard the singing again. She peaked open the curtain to find a freezing young man, with a lantern by his feet, singing the same as he did in the morning. She opened the curtain and the window, and like usual, sat and listened to him sing. When he had finally finished, she had gotten over her embarrassment from the morning, and over the shock of him being there so late, and shouted down.
“You must be freezing! Why are you out so late?!”
“I figured I could sing you something for when you got home! I had a good day so I figured you should too!” He put on a cheeky smile, she knew exactly what he was doing, and he knew that she knew too.
“That’s very sweet! What’s your name?”
“Mia.” She said, a little quieter.
“Mia. Very pretty!” She blushed again.
“M-Me or my name?”
“Definitely both! I’ll see you tomorrow morning, maybe tomorrow night too?”
“I-I think I’d like that! Safe journey!”
And with that, he packed up and went on his merry way, leaving Mia’s heart pounding in her chest and an infectious smile spilling over her face.