Alex, chest aching and fire in his throat, looked around the carriage, to try and clear his mind.
The usual assortment of morning commuters sat around him. Passing his eyes over the other passengers he, for a millisecond, connected with the eyes of a girl he’d noticed once or twice previous but, with the fish he had at the time, frying gently, he hadn’t noticed too hard. Now, though, he took her in a little longer. After a moment of studying her oval eyes and feline bone structure he realised she was looking right back at him. His felt his cheeks warm up slightly.
What now? He thought.
After six years of the same woman, he didn’t have the first idea what his next move should be.
Should I smile at her? What sort of smile should I give her? Would it just creep her out? Should I wave? Would she think I’m retarded? Should I just ignore and play hard to get?
She must have read his inept mind, because her expression had now changed. Alex was no facial expert, but she appeared fully freaked and was now hiding behind her handbag as if he had turned into a bomb.
Goddamn it! He thought. How have I got like this?
He had never considered himself a Casanova, but, at the same time, before Jane, he’d had his fair share of admirers and had always been able to respond confidently enough. Now he felt like a hermit that had been dropped into the middle of a busy Leicester Square.
He forced himself to stare out of the large carriage window and watch the landscape speed by, feeling utterly ridiculous and thoroughly dejected.