Bonus Post!! Just for you! I am currently working on several things at once and it is annoying. However I think some really good things are happening and I am getting excited. So for your reading pleasure I have the beginning of a story I hope you like. First off I’m going to give a list of songs that helped me get inspired for this particular story. Enjoy!! And of course any helpful comments are always welcomed!!
You can find this play list on Spotify, again I do not get paid for this so you can click away!
- Unsteady by X Ambassadors
- Hands to Myself by Selena Gomez
- Now That I’ve Found You(feat. John & Michel) by Martin Garix, John &Michel
- The Broken by 3 Doors Down
- In The Dark by 3 Doors Down
- Misery by Gwen Stefani
- Afraid With You by Christian Gray
- Meteorites by Litghts
- Warrior by Auoria
- We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes off by Ella Eyre
- I Wanna Be Alone With You By Wishes
- HandClap by Fitz and The Tantrums
- Collide by Howie Day
- I Won’t Let You Go by Snow Patrol
- 2am by Bear Hands
I was running late. I glanced at my watch for the millionth time, tapping my foot wishing the line of people in front of me would just move. Perhaps everyone was late this morning? Or perhaps I was particularly moody having woken up well past my alarm.
The line moved up a person. The small area where I normally scan my tube pass smelled like mildew and sweat. This was my second year in London, having moved here from the spacious Portland, Oregon. In all that time I had not seen the tube this busy. As I pressed my lips together I watched a woman, with too many bags, juggle through her things as she looked for her pass. A man behind her snorted.
“You think you can set something down?” he growled.
I had to press a hand to my lips to keep from shouting out “Yeah!”
Instead the woman behind him and in front of me hissed, “Hurry the hell up!”
So it wasn’t just me, it was everyone. While she continued looking for her pass she dropped a grocery bag, spilling her bananas and oranges. She said a few choice cuss words as she bent down to pick them up. The man behind her tossed his head back then knelt down beside her. I thought he was going to help her but instead he said, “Do you mind if I go round you?”
She began crying and it was then I noticed a vacant look in her glassy eyes. The roots of her soft blonde hair had turned a dark brown color. Her skin seemed to be stretched too tight over her face, and her makeup looked as though a child had applied it. Irritated with good manners I walked around the two people in front of me and knelt down beside her. The man behind me said, “You stepped out of line!”
I rolled my eyes and gave the woman a warm smile. “I can help you pick up your stuff.”
She clutched her things in her bony fingers having finally found her tube pass and shook her head.
“I don’t need your help.”
Up close I noticed her skin was not an ivory color. She had meticulously covered her light brown skin with white powder. Below her eyes her thin black eyebrows were shadows of once having been thick. A blue contact in her left eye had slid over to the side of her eye and the right one looked red and irritated. I began to press a hand on her shoulder but she pulled away.
“Go first if you want.” She said softly.
“Oh what the hell?” the man behind her said.
I quickly did as she offered, only to get away from her and to get the line moving. I had met a lot of diverse people in London but I never met someone who tried desperately to not be who they clearly were. It was clear that woman had emigrated from the Middle East, I just wish she didn’t try to hide that. I walked fast to a car that I though was not as full then shoved myself towards the back near the far left of the car. Behind me was a Plexiglas window and the back of the car to my right side. I liked being here, I didn’t feel the threat of being mugged or felt up. Plus it gave me the advantage of watching people. When I first came to London I had been warned by family members that I needed to watch myself. I was also told, mind you by family members who had never been to London, what areas I should stay clear of. “I watch the news, I know.” Had been said to me.
I pulled my chap stick out of my purse and ran it along my bottom lip. Beside me a man with dark brown hair, wearing a grey hoodie and dark jeans leaned back against the wall. My eyes took in his long legs roaming slowly up the length of his body finding that his eyes watching me. Quickly, I turned my head, and heat warmed my cheeks. I curled my lips in as I tried catching my breath. Embarrassment didn’t describe how I was feeling. In front of me the man who had been angry with me in line, curled his lip at me.
“You cut me in line.” He hissed.
I shrugged as though I didn’t have a care in the world. Better to not seem like a daisy.
“I was merely trying to help that lady. I’m sorry.”
“Bugger off.” He growled.
I shook my head. “What the hell do you want from me? I said I was sorry. All I wanted was to get that damn lady out of the way!”
He laughed then pointed a thick pudgy finger at me. “You shouldn’t waste your time on scum like her.” Then he laughed, “I’m not surprised you pushed your way in, you are American.”
I grounded my teeth. Once again hating that I couldn’t establish a damn accent. It would make my time here a little easier if I could pass as a Londoner. Being an American right now as not hot stuff. Instead of declaring my proud American heritage I just bit the inside of my lip.
“How about I buy you a pint.” I offered hoping that I could smother the situation.
He narrowed his eyes at me. “Why would you do that?”
“To show that I really meant no harm, and to apologize for cutting in front of you.” He seemed to be leery of me, even when I held a five pound note out to him. The man besides me in the hoodie snorted. I turned my head to see what he was snorting at when I saw it. There was a bright orange flash of light. At first I wasn’t sure what I saw or what I was feeling. I felt a flash of heat next. Then from the corner of my eye I saw the man in the hoodie charging towards me. His eyes were wild. His lips were moving frantically but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. The next thing I knew we were on the ground. He was on top of me covering my face with his. The hood of his sweatshirt pulled over us. His breath was unsteady and warm on my face. I couldn’t move, I could barely breathe. I heard clinks on the metal floor of the train. The sound of sand hitting the walls, and the rush of the ocean. I heard the ocean. Or at least what I wanted to sound like the ocean. What I really heard were screams. Around me the train buckled and jumped. I felt as though we were moving sideways before screeching to a jolting stop. Somewhere in the dark I barely made out a woman praying. A man hollered out for help. Above me the man whispered, “Don’t move.”
My heart lurched into my throat. Not seeing what was going on was worse than hearing it all play out. I closed my eyes trying to catch my breath.
“Are you going to hurt me?” I sobbed. My mind ran in circles. I wasn’t sure what had just happened or why this man felt the need to shield me from what was crashing down around us.
“Somebody please!” A woman cried.
“I’m going to lift off of you, but you stay close.” He growled in my ear. “And no I am not going to hurt you.”
“Who are you?”
He rose from me slowly. The dirty air rushed inside the safety of the hood and I coughed. The man above me pressed his hand over my nose and mouth. “Keep your face covered.”
I nodded and allowed him to lift me off the ground. He held me close. I was grateful as I took in the scene around us. My knees grew weak as my eyes darted from an elderly man lying on a bench with his eyes wide open. Around his hairline blood trickled down his face and dripped down his nose. His stare was empty and his chest still. A light above him dropped from the room landing directly on to the poor man. Sparks and zaps sputtered out of the wires and light bulbs. A woman beside the man tried getting up before the light fell but wasn’t quick enough. The exposed wires touched her skin and she began shaking uncontrollably. As the man who protected me began to move towards the opened doors I noticed a wire slivering in the air like a snake reaching towards him. I pushed him to my right knocking him out of the wire’s path. His hands gripped my arms tightly taking me with him. We landed on the floor again, both of our bodies slapping together. The room grew quiet and still for just a moment. The man underneath me looked panicked.
“We have to get out of here.” He snarled.
I nodded. My hand slid against the palm of his hand. My fingers dug into the back of his hand while my other hand gripped his wrist. The bag I wore over my shoulder and neck flapped against my thigh, reminding me that it was there. For some reason, all I could think about was my laptop. I just knew the screen had been broken when my hero had knocked me to the ground. I was not very happy about it either. I had just gotten the computer.
Suddenly the man stopped, and turned around to face me. We locked eyes. “Are you hurt?”
I shook my head, “Are you?” I ran a hand down the side of his face over his shoulders and along his stomach. I saw a patch of red blood on his shoulder but it wasn’t his, which meant that I was bleeding. I ran my hand along my hairline and felt warm wetness. He stopped me as I lowered my hand.
“It is just a flesh wound, nothing serious.”
I turned my head taking in the chaos around me. Ambulances parked on the sidewalks, doors open and medical supplies spilling out. EMTs and paramedics darting here and there with IV’s, gloves, gauze and other things. People poured out of the entrances to the tube covered in black soot, dark brown dust and blood. Some were crying, others were screaming. Men and women huddled close together sharing a deep connection in the middle of this crisis. Younger girls and boys held their phones to their ears frantically talking. The man who saved me pulled me into his chest crushing me with his arms.
“I’m Luke.” He said softly. “I’m Detective Inspector Luke Radcliff.”
I nodded against him, rubbing my face in his sweatshirt breathing in his soft cologne. He smelled faintly of sweat, some mild soap and vanilla cologne. I breathed deeply.
“I’m Amy. Amelia Williams.”
After I spoke he pulled away from me gently leaving me cold and needy. He ran a hand along the side of my face, he looked almost sad.
“I have to work.” He said darkly.
I nodded. “I am going to take you to a petty officer. You will sit in the back of the car waiting for me until I can leave.”
A prickly ball began to fill my throat. It took everything for me not to cry. As my body began to shake I nodded my head. He pulled me back into his arms.
“I won’t be long. I promise Amy.” He kissed the top of my hair then did as he promised.
After he found a petty officer and made sure that I was safe in the back of the car he left me. Everything in front of me seemed to move in slow motion. I moved my arms protectively over my chest as I saw nurses now running towards injured people. Men and women dressed in dark green scrubs poured out of a paddy wagon and darted towards anyone bleeding or crying. More people continued pouring out of the entrance of the tube. Sirens echoed off the tall buildings around us. The clouds went dark as though the sky wanted to cry. I looked from the sky to the crowd in front of me and to the gurney wheeling towards a black van. It was the woman who had held up the line this morning. Her body was motionless. No breathing assistance was being giving to her, no heart pounding and no IVs stuck in her veins. The wind blew her fake blonde hair away from her face showing her lifeless eyes. The men pulling and pushing her then noticed that the red blanket that was covering her had blown off of her body. I watched as they pulled the blanket over her painted face. That was when I allowed myself to cry. I couldn’t look away though, I watched the silent scene of people and medical professionals scurrying about and I cried.
It was dark when the petty officer, and Luke came back to me. The car had kept me warm enough, and dry now that the rain had started. Luke slid in the back with me, taking me in his arms once again.
“Where do you want to go?” he whispered to my hair as he kissed me again.
I shook in his embrace. My mind was still reeling on what had just happened. This was nothing like I had ever seen or been through before. As an American I have a bit of naiveté about this kind of tragedy. The one thing that I knew for sure was I couldn’t not be without Luke. In the short few hours that I had known him, well knew about his existence, I had to be near him. The time I had spent away from him felt as though I was detoxing from some kind of strong drug. I didn’t know how to tell him this, nor did I know how to beg him to stay with me.
“We can go to my flat.” He finally said when the officer started the car. “I don’t live far.”
I nodded against his chest, my breathing had finally returned to normal. Until he returned to me I was not aware I had been breathing hard. It was then that I noticed his breath also began to calm. As his arms tightened around me I felt the misery I had felt earlier begin to leave my shoulders.
“Can you take us home?” He said to the officer. “Sure, to your flat?”
Luke said yes then kissed my hair again. I was becoming too dependent on his soft hair kisses. My hands were having a hard time remaining in my lap. I had to have handfuls of him. In needing this I discovered he was firm, lean and muscular. I could only get fistfuls of his shirt or sweatshirt. To my relief he seemed to need the same. His hands gripped my hip hard, digging his fingers under the waistband of my jeans so he could touch my skin. No further, he just needed to feel my skin. The warmth of his hands against me was enough to keep me still. My touch seemed to also settle him, which made me feel even more relaxed. I sighed letting myself and my body relax for the first time in what felt like hours.