“God… Damn… It!” He wheezed, sprinting to the run-down train stop.
This happened every time. He’d get called in to do an afternoon shift, and have to sprint to the train station to make it in time for the last train. Maybe he should just refuse the next time he was asked to do the afternoon shift.
Of course, he thought this to himself every time he had to make that mad dash. Why didn’t he refuse? It was the highest paying shift that his business had. And boy, did he need the money.
When he arrived to the train station, he found it barren. Except, of course, for one person.
Why does this remind me of some kind of TV show plot? He thought to himself, massaging his temples to drive away his oncoming headache, and sat down.
After five minutes, he decided -rather than just sit by himself in the dark- he’d make casual discussion with the person. He asked them what they were doing out here so late at night, and if he’d missed the last train.
Before replying to him, the person grabbed something out of their pants pocket. When it lit up, he could tell it was a smartphone of some description.
Although it was too dark before, he could now see the person he was trying to converse with, semi-clearly. It was a girl with square-rimmed glasses. But this wasn’t too easy to decipher- she had quite short hair and wasn’t really dressed in the most feminine of clothes. Her girlish face was the only thing that betrayed the masculine way she presented herself.
“Well,” she started, taking him out of his wondering what gender she really was “I’m quite obviously waiting for the morning train, and yes. We missed it.”
“Damn it, I knew I shouldn’t have hung around for those few extra minutes…” He cursed himself quietly.
“Erm… May I ask your name?” She asked awkwardly after a couple of seconds.
“Oh yeah, sorry.” He dug around in his pockets and produced his business card. “I am Xavier L. Barton, jack of trades. I am currently working in construction and customer service, but I do a lot of odd jobs around town. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
She accepting his business card, smiling slightly. “Wow. You sound like you say that a lot. Well, Xaiver, what’s the L. stand for?”
“Lawrence. I am so lucky my mother didn’t make it my first name.” The two broke out into laughter at that.
“Okay, Okay,” She tried to calm her laughter. “Now, It’s my turn. My name is Lucia Matthews. I may not have a fancy business card like you, but I can tell you that I am Accountant.”
“If you’re an accountant, why’re you out this late at night?” He was sure that accounting was just a normal nine to five job.
She sighed, rubbing her sinuses. “Thursdays are the days we stay open until nine. Unfortunately, my last clients of the day are always the worst, and I didn’t get out until 9:30.”
“You stay open until nine?! I thought that was just retail workers that did that!”
“Well, you’re not wrong. A normal accountant’s office wouldn’t do that. We’re one of the only accountants in this tiny town, so, on weekdays, we open up shop around eight and close at six to fit all the work in. Except Thursdays, of course.”
He stared, dumbstruck. “Do you get breaks? It must be terrible working so many hours.”
“Well, I get weekends off like any other person in the same job. We quite obviously get lunch- a whole hour dedicated to doing nothing. It’s the best. We also get coffee breaks when we’re doing desk work.”
“Jeeze. I guess you don’t have much time with your family, then.” He sighed.
“Haha, I don’t have a family. I’ve lived on my own since college.”
He was taken aback slightly. She didn’t have a family? He didn’t either, but that didn’t matter. He’d have thought that men would be lining up to marry her.
“…Not even a partner?” He said after a couple of seconds.
“Nope. My last boyfriend stopped seeing me once I moved here.” She beamed. “What about you? Let me guess, wife and three… no, two kids. You seem like a family man.”
“I’m in the same situation as you. Women who I’ve dated expect constant attention because ‘all I am is a jack of trades’. I have to work too…” the last part of his statement was a mere mumble, seeming directed at his ex-girlfriends.
“Some women are like that, I guess. You’ll find the right one someday.” She let that sentence hang in silence for a couple of minutes, and then asked “You work in that corporate building near here, right?”
“Yeah?” He wondered where she was going with this.
“Really?! My business works with that branch! I visit every couple of months!” She told him excitedly.
“No way! How’re we going with our finances? Are we going under? You’ll have to tell me if I need to quit before we all get laid off!”
“Nah, it’s fine. They said they might have to lay off a lazy jack-of-trades, though!”
“Hey, how did you know I was lazy!” they couple laughed together once again.
Although they knew they were in a situation with no way out, they made the best of it. They talked and talked, even when the rain started to pour on their current shelter, they didn’t notice it at all.
“…And then, y’see…” Lucia trailed off. They’d been talking non-stop for about three hours now, and she had just noticed that Xavier attention was currently elsewhere.
She grabbed her phone out of her pocket once again and focused the dull light on his face. He was as white as a sheet, and currently staring at the other side of the tracks. She now noticed that it was raining.
“Xavier…?” She called. He jumped and turned back to her. “What’s wrong?”
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Xavier Barton knew he shouldn't have stayed back at work that extra few minutes. He knew he had a train to catch. But as soon as he met Lucia Matthews, it seemed that he really didn't care anymore. A short, contemporary romance about two people who missed the last train of the day.