Chloe & Luke
The midnight train purrs at the Junction, waiting to transport its cargo of late-shifters and bleary-eyed post-work-pinters on their disparate journeys southward, to suburbia and beyond.
A man rushes onto the train and addresses a woman who stands in the doorway next to her bike.
“What’s your name, please?”, he asks.
“Um, Chloe”, she replies.
“Hi Chloe, I’m Luke”, he says. “I was wondering… could I have your number?”
The guard blows his whistle from the platform. The train’s about to leave. Luke shouts to him to hold the train.
Chloe smiles, looking pleasantly shocked, and the other passengers in the carriage cheer them on. “Go on!”, they shout. “He looks nice… Go on luv!”
She smiles again and nods… They exchange numbers just as the doors close and Luke jumps down to the platform, chuffed. The whole carriage cheers and Chloe blushes a broad smile.
“Had you met him before?”, one of the other passengers asks her as the train pulls away from the station. “Or did he just see you in the train??…”
“No, we were chatting on the platform for a while…”, Chloe says. “He seemed nice…”
Only a few seconds later Chloe’s phone rings.
“It’s him, it’s him!!!”, passengers shout.
She answers, smiling… “Hello?…. Oh, hi!…”, she says, then whispers to the the carriage, “It’s him!”
A cry of joy goes up from the carriage “Hiiiiii Luuuuuuke”, they shout in unison…
The conversation takes place, a date’s arranged, hope is sprung, smiles abound… Chloe’s still smiling as she alights the train at the next station.
“Good luck, luv”, someone says, “Go for it! He looks nice!…”
She’s beaming, just a little… I show her the pictures I’ve taken and give her my card. “Let me know what happens with you two”, I say. “It’s a really nice story…”
“Lovely looking couple”, one of the passengers says as the train pulls away, “Good luck to them!”
For short time on a cold November night, our hearts were warmed and our lives were changed by the everyday actions of a young man asking for a young woman’s number… Who knows what will happen; maybe they will meet, marry and have wonderful lives together. Maybe not.
But for those few minutes, we smiled and cheered and we were happy and excited for Chloe and Luke, not because they’re guaranteed to spend long, happy lives together, but because we witnessed the spark of something being lit – the spark of hope. And that is something that exists in all of our hearts, and when we see it in others’, we cannot help but feel the candle begin to flicker in our own.