In the first instalment of Love Diversified, we venture into the dangerous realm of commuting as a woman

As you become a seasoned commuter, lots of unintentional things happen to ease what is a horrible process. You know that it’s worth sacrificing some sleep in bed in exchange for a seat on the train. Every day you wait on the same spot on the platform.

And you learn how to read a train carriage without looking up.

I buried my face further into The Dragonriders of Pern when I saw him stop by my seat. There was a space next to me, but not a soul in the rest of the train so there was really no need-


My face, the picture of a big-haired woman on a winged dragon, a cloud of aftershave, and a perfectly coiffed man’s beard were now all in startlingly close proximity to one another.

I started seething internally. I had literally just spent an entire day at work, all I wanted was to eat my Train Twix in silence.

“Hi” was all I was prepared to offer before curling my entire body into my paperback.

“How are you?”

I turned to look now, at the person who was to accompany me on the 55-minute journey. I have inherited a 200-volt death stare from my mother which I don’t often allow out but I was tired and it escaped.

His pretty smiling face broke into sadness.

“I’m sorry not to interrupting you, I wanting to practice my English,” he said hopefully.

I sighed and folded the dragons away. We started chatting. He was from Oman and studying business management at a London university. It was a little sad, and I felt sorry for him, away from home in an unwelcoming country with horrible weather and people on trains who try and ignore you.

We swapped numbers and later that evening exchanged a few texts, I was feeling good about being nice.

But train guy had absolutely no chill, it seemed.

Train guy: “Do you need someone to carry your shopping?”

Me: “I’m sorry what?”

Train guy: “I will help you clean the floor and come to Tesco for carrying your shopping. I knew when I saw you in your athletic tights that you will have a dominating presence.”

Me: “Sorry I don’t think so”

Train guy: “Please I have always wanted a dominating lady and everyone has said no. You can be my first one. I know you have a dominating presence.”

Well, that death stare had worked, but not in the way that I’d hoped.

Now I felt even more sorry for him. I suggested he try looking on the internet, but no, I really didn’t mind carrying my own shopping. I didn’t want to have to block him but then I just had to when my screen flashed with his last desperate attempt-

“Let me put my tongue between your foot fingers.”

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Featured image Flickr: Maria Smola

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