Affair on the 7:50 to GCT

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I’d made the commute from Stamford to Grand Central Terminal five days a week for three years. More than a thousand round trips. In that time warp of madness, I got to recognize my fellow travelers well. The old fellow in tweeds, summer and winter, who disappeared into the New York Times as soon as he sat down. The kid with a dripping nose who resembled a college student or a serial killer. The two women who applied mascara, eye shadow and lip gloss until they arrived 50 minutes later.

Knew them all, except I didn’t. I’d never said more than “Good morning” or “Looks like rain.” Never a name in all those days and months and years. I might’ve run up and down the aisle butt naked without getting a reaction.

Instead, I visualized the pink vibrator in my nightstand and kept my eyes on the olive-skinned fellow who finished the crossword puzzle in ten minutes using a ballpoint pen. The stranger who read and then stared dreamy-eyed out the window. I always sat kitty-corner and glanced at him surreptitiously for 50 minutes. I wondered if he was Asian-American, or perhaps Latino. He smiled if someone said “Good morning” or “Is this seat taken?” And, yes, I even daydreamed what having sex with him might be like. Not the size of his junk, for God’s sake, but his style. Was he rough or gentle, calculated or generous, self-satisfying or altruistic? And right now, staring out the window, was he daydreaming of humping a girl who looked like a Victoria’s Secret model, sticking it up her bum while she moaned and rolled her eyes?

He had no wedding ring, but perhaps he calculatedly left it on the bureau. Of he might be a brute and kicked his dog and drank too much. Worse, he was a bourbon drinker, a whiskey that nauseates me. I learned long ago that the drinks and cigarettes and toothpaste a person chooses signal our secret affinities.

I’d lost a few pounds and felt extremely fit. This made me so confident that Maureen, my girlfriend, kept asking, “What have you done? Botox? Different hair dresser? New trainer at the gym?”

I said, “It’s a guy I see every day on the train.” But that was a lie. I became good looking — not “very” good looking — but pleasing, I knew, and it was coincidental to introducing myself to this man.

“Don’t piss in the well if you’re going to drink from it,” Maureen growled in her parental voice. “You gotta ride that train and you don’t want to have a relationship that’ll go bad and you’re stuck facing a jerk till you retire.”

I spent weeks wondering how to open a conversation, but I needn’t have worried. The cars lurched as I was sitting down and I almost fell into his lap. I felt his hand on my thigh under my skirt, and then his thumb began inching toward my crotch

“I am so sorry,” I cried, Kocaeli Escort brushing my hand across his jacket and deftly swinging my hips away. The warm hand slipped down to my knee and fluttered away like a frightened bird.

“Not a problem. I like having a lovely woman fall into my arms at eight o’clock in the morning.” And he smiled, showing perfect teeth. “How long have you been making this run?”

It seemed as though the floodgates had opened as we sat together. Words gushed candidly from our mouths, as we searched for commonalities. He was Edward Loewe, a systems engineer who also wrote poetry that had actually been published. His mother was Filipino, his father English.

“It’s good that you work in corporate communications,” he remarked, nodding several times. “If only all people could communicate.”

“I’m afraid what I do is public relations,” I said. “Propaganda,” and I gave a little laugh.

“Listen, Agneta. I’m free for lunch and we work just two blocks from each other. Would you let me treat you to lunch?”

“Today? I’m not sure…”

“It must be today or you may go out of my life and I’ll never see you again.” A small laugh, but in nervousness, not humor.

“That’s silly. We’ll always be on the same train, but alright,” and I mentioned a bistro on Lexington Avenue.

“The dining room at the Winston Hotel,” he counter-offered.

* * *

To be honest, I got to the restaurant early and waited nervously. I shouldn’t have worried. Edward — he asked to be called “Teddy” — was there at the stroke of noon.

“Agneta,” he said, holding both my shoulders in his long, thin fingers. “I have to confess. I want to skip lunch. I booked a room here where we can just…talk. Have I been presumptuous?”

Maureen’s words haunted me. Was I going to piss in the well and regret it? Instead, I simply nodded. And let him lead me forward. This was the moment I had to face my fear of involvement or let it push me over a cliff of desolation.

Inside the bilious green room, his hands gripped my arms as he leaned down to kiss me, fully and sincerely. “I’ve wanted to meet you for months,” he said,” but I didn’t know the words to… Was it fate that threw you into my arms?”

“Fate. Maybe it can bring two people together. Spiritual magnets or something.”

Deftly, he slipped off my jacket and laid it carefully on a chair, then unbuttoned my blouse. I think at that point I closed my eyes to let the experience — whatever it would be — kidnap my mind and body. Only in New York could these things happen and I wanted to enjoy it. I would be hostage to his moves for the next hour.

Maureen had told me repeatedly, “Agneta, you have a terrific body, beautiful hair and Kocaeli Escort Bayan face, stunning personality. Twenty-nine years old and no boyfriends! What’s wrong with you?”

Well, now there was going to be nothing wrong. I knew it when Teddy and I were both lying nude on the coverlet, thigh to thigh and belly to belly, stroking each other. Me, with his cock in my hand and him with his fingers exploring the lips between my legs.

He whispered, “In a city of eight million I found one very special person. Imagine the odds.”

“Teddy, I’m not a lottery ticket. There will be differences…”

But he was right…in a way. How could I be so lucky to find a guy with a buff body, gentle humor, and easygoing personality, courtesy? Well the courtesy part came when I spread my legs wide and invited him to enter me. His entrance was gentle and the weight of his body was no more than a feather’s touch. He slid his dick inside me with persuasive motions that opened my heart as wide as my pussy. Both heart and vagina had been waiting for this moment to be convinced.

Somehow he treated me to feelings I had never known, and his technique — what a crass word — went on and on, minute after minute as my breathing accelerated. I was living a vision of Heaven when two people come together as a single being without hesitation or reservation.

Finally, I was the first to give in. I think I shouted, “Now! Please, Teddy, now.” And he released himself in me as fireworks went off in my head.

Why had I been so afraid of walking through the gates of Heaven?

* * *

“Teddy,” I said while we sat drinking iced coffee later, “I think we have to talk.”

“I’ve been dreading this moment, but, yes.” There was no smile in his eyes now.

“Dread? Teddy, I had the most wonderful…”

“You don’t understand. This is the end. I am so sorry. I could explain that I’m gay or that I’m engaged to be married, but…”

My face went cold as I stared at him through eyes welling up with tears. My mouth was dry and my body had gone cold. “But, what?”

“I’m simply indifferent to sex. Every man you see isn’t some kind of horny letch, out to bang anything with a pussy. I…I just felt I had to check myself out one more time to see if I cared about…doing it. You have to step up to the plate before you can hit a home run and I think I struck out.”

My mouth worked like a fish out of water, but no words came out. All that was left was the smell of his sweat and sperm.

“You’re a beautiful woman, Agneta. There must be dozens of men… It’s just that I’m not one of them.”

* * *

The next few days were the hardest I’ve ever lived through. I had cast off my body and self-esteem Escort Kocaeli for a quick lay. I’d given my heart only to have it tossed out like day-old bread. Of course, I never said a word to Maureen. And I began taking the 8:04 train instead of the 7:50, then running to the office so as to not be late.

Teddy never knew the sacrifice I’d made. It had been three years since I’d let men kiss me with their tongue inching past my lips like a solicitous dentist. I’d allowed another to heft my breasts the way a grocer would test the ripeness of peaches. But I held the cavity between my legs impregnable. It was a mad adventure to let Teddy enter my body. No man had explored my insides since I’d begun working in the city. No man had found himself inside my body to search out the warm, wet, pink secrets that scared me too.

Hot, salty tears came as I lay alone in bed, stroking myself with the vibrator. Perhaps it was fate that cursed my life like a losing lottery ticket. My body would become an abandoned house, foreclosed for nonpayment of love.

Summer had disappeared and autumn rushed in, having shaken out its beach towel to blow down the avenues. Rain sheeted the midtown area and puddles turned curbs into sunken obstacles. I was rushing head down to my printer when a solid object smashed my shoulder and my umbrella whooshed into Hudson Street.

“Watch it!” I shouted against the wind.

“I am so sorry, Miss. I tripped on the damned curb.”

That voice! The last time I heard him say ‘I am so sorry’ Teddy had walked out of my life.


“Yes,” I told Teddy. “I’m still Agneta. I was when we met for…our date, and when I woke up this morning, so I guess I’m still the same person.” The same person who had lost her soul to a commuter.

Those hands with the long, strong fingers clutched my raincoat. “Agneta, I’ve been looking for you. You never came back to the train.”

“I had no reason to, Teddy.” By this time, rain had slicked my face and hair and I’m sure I looked like a drowning dog. “You made it clear there was no reason.”

“But I searched everywhere. I missed a day of work standing on the Stamford train platform. I took different trains, different times. I would wait at Grand Central Terminal for you to show up.”

A strangled sound escaped my lips, like that drowning dog choking.

“Agneta, I was wrong. I cursed myself. My stupid test to see if making love mattered in my life.”

“Teddy,” I said, straightening up, “love matters. Not just making love. One has to follow the other or it’s lust and not love. The act is meaningless.”

“I advertised for you on Craigslist. I put notices on lamp posts at your train station. I never learned your last name or I’d’ve hired a detective.”

Tentatively, I put my wet hand lightly against his smooth cheek, as light as a monthly train pass. “Andersson. Agneta Andersson, with two ‘Ss.’ By the way, I’m free for drinks after work…if I’m not being presumptuous. But please tell me you aren’t a bourbon drinker.”

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