I saw you there, alone, you were bending forward and your head looking down to the Platform. Of all places, a Railway Platform to see you there and to feel that instant attraction towards you. By your right leg stood a small suitcase, where you going somewhere or coming back from somewhere, changing trains perhaps. I didn’t know, I would never know, except that I found myself staring at you and fininding it hard to look away.
I stayed where I was, as much as my mind wanted to move closer to where you were, my body would not move, how silly I thought, what is wrong with me. Suddenly you looked up you looked in the direction of the trains arrival, that would be soon, then you looked towards my direction, and our eyes met and they just kept looking at one another.
It was as though I had known you all my life, but of course I had not, how could I possibly have done that, this was the first time I had seen you. Suddenly then the whistle blew and the train was pulling into our station.
That would be it I thought, I would never see you again, you would get on one carriage and I the other. The train stopped, just before I stepped onto the train I turned to look at you, you were looking at me and quickly you moved to get onto the end of the carriage I was entering.
I chose a seat, looked out of the window, then as usual on these train journeys I took my book from my bag and continued to read. I felt compelled to look up to see where you were sitting, there you were at the far end, you were looking at me. Something had happened, was happening, I could stop it here or let whatever was happening progress.
I continued to read, but I could not concentrate on my book, I so wanted to finish it, I had not much to go but my mind was not on it. I looked at you and you were smiling at me, I smiled back and you rose from your seat picked your case up and moved towards me. I felt nervous shy what was I going to do but suddenly you were sitting down “hello” you said, I couldn’t hear the words I spoke but I knew that my lips were moving. I obviously said “hello” back to you.
Then you said your name “I’m Christian Henrikson” and you held out your hand “I’m Rosina Bianchi” I said we both said “hello” it seemed silly but nice we were both nervous and me shy. I recognised your name suddenly and was not sure if I should mention it to you, before I could make the decision you said “Bianchi, Italian”, “my Father is Italian, I was born here”. “I see” you answered with the loveliest smile I had ever seen from anyone, everything about you was perfect, I must have appeared so plain to you. Here I was and the famous Publisher Christian Henrikson was sitting opposite me talking to me.
“Tell me what do you think about the book” as you pointed to my book, “should I really say, I noticed you are the Publisher” I said, “not many people bother to read who the publisher is, I am pleased you have, but you have not answered me, tell me what do you think of the book and the writer of course” you asked of me. “Can I really be honest with you” I asked, you touched my hand “I don’t think you could be any other way” you told me.
“Well I haven’t finished the book, nearly have but not completely, its so obvious how it is going to end, and I don’t particularly like that, I don’t think the writer meant it to be that way”, as I said all this to you, you sat there quietly and smiled. “The whole time I was reading it, I just wanted to get to the end and close the book and never look at it again, sorry I know your Company published it but books are expensive these days and this” and before I could finish you answered “was a waste of money” you said, I nodded in agreement.
“Do you like to read a lot of books” you asked me “yes I do, my Father taught me to read and later we would spend time together reading, I think Mother felt left out in many ways but I so loved it when my Father would read to me” I found myself telling you so much, it seemed so natural to do so. “do you mind me asking what you do for a living Rosina” you asked, “no not all, rather boring, I work in a Library” I said rather embarrassed, I have always felt embarrassed about that, but I just love books. You smiled “its not boring at all, have you ever thought about reviewing books” you said “I couldn’t do that, you mean professionally, no I Couldn’t do that” I told you.
“I think you would do very well at it, I have to get off at the next station, and you” you asked of me I wanted to cry, why I didn’t know, yes I do I told myself, be honest. I heard myself telling you “I go right to the end, the end unfortu” and there I stopped. We sat there just looking at each other, you gave me your card “call me please call me, I think you would make a good reviewer for us, so do call me ask for me direct, leave your name, will you call tell me you will call” you appeared to anxiously ask, “yes I will call, I promise I’ll call” I told you, why did I say that , my head was everywhere.
“We are entering the station, be careful as you alight from the train” the intercom said. You stood, made sure you had your suitcase, you bent down towards me, your warm hand touched my face and you kissed me gently, I so wanted to cry “Rosina, don’t forget call me” you whispered, “I will” I said as you turned to depart the train.
All of a sudden you appeared to stop “excuse me, excuse may I get pass” you said to some of the passengers, were you not feeling well, you headed towards me, took my right hand “quickly gather everything, you are coming with me” you smiled “what” I smiled back “what I don’t understand” I said “”I can’t leave you here, do you want to come with me” you smiled as you asked me, “oh yes, please I want to come with you” I said so excited. You put your arm around my shoulder, I felt protected, your fingers held me closely and led me from the train to the platform.
People were looking, staring, some talking some mainly the male passengers just smiling to one another, it was all odd. Then I knew why we were hugging each other and you kissed me and we were laughing, and happy so happy, we must have looked so strange but we didn’t care. A platform, a train and two shy people meet, and fall for each other and a book not even a very good book – but maybe this would make a good book, who knows?
Ella Fitzgerald – Lets Do It, Let’s Fall In Love”