She was plain as paper. There was something very nondescript about her. The darkish, straight brows, the blue eyes that were just that - blue. Not a special blue, or a sparkling blue. They were neither light blue nor dark. Just blue. The oval face that was slightly long, the pursed lips and the small chin. All of these features were plain, yet when you added them together, it made for a pleasant looking face. She was neither ugly nor beautiful. She was pleasant to behold.
As she sat there on the busy train, trying to blend in, her red umbrella tucked between her legs, he imagined her life. He imagined she worked in a busy office. Doing the accounts perhaps? She could have been a book-keeper or a typist. Maybe a receptionist? He imagined her home life. She wore no ring on her finger, so she wasn't married. Divorced maybe? Or maybe she had a long-term partner who didn't want to settle down with her? Maybe the partner liked things just the way they were and didn't want to commit to a piece of paper that was legally binding? Maybe it was a sore point with this woman? Maybe she wanted a wedding, whether that be large or small? Maybe she wanted a stable marriage, but the partner refused? Maybe she thought she had to stay?
He imagined what her home looked like. Mostly likely she was an apartment dweller. He imagined it to look very cozy, pictures everywhere, family photographs. Shabby chic, that was it. Her apartment would have been very kitschy and shabby-chic. Handmade and hand-crafted ornaments scattered about the place. He imagined it would be constantly warm in the apartment, even in the middle of summer and on the hottest of days, her apartment would be warm. Perhaps she had a dog? No, he decided, she's not a dog person. She was a cat person; definitely, she just struck him as such. The cat would have a cutesy name no matter the gender. It would be named Mittens or Snowy. Patches perhaps, or Fluffy. Or maybe something extra sickly like Cuddles.
The woman tucked a stray strand of dirty blonde hair behind her ear, caught him looking at her and smiled. She had a kind, welcoming face when she smiled. He was then put in thought to imagine a life with her, not just of her. He imagined asking her out. She would smile politely and agree to coffee, even though she struck him as a tea drinker. She would be polite and kind the entire time, deflecting his questions and instead wanting to know about him. He would ask her out again, this time to dinner. On the second date, she would be slightly more open and personal.
He imagined walking with her to the steps of her apartment. He would kiss her on the cheek and ask her out on a third date. At the end of the third date, which would be bowling or some activity of the like, they would kiss. He imagined how soft her lips would feel. The fourth date would be a picnic, where they would increase the passion and intimacy levels. By the sixth date, they still wouldn't have slept together, but he would ask her if they were going steady, to which she would reply with a happy yes. A month later they would be sharing each other's beds.
He imagined her to be quiet and reserved in reality, but once in bed and under the sheets, she would warm up and perhaps be quite adventurous. He imagined that after a year she would move in with him, the cat would join them also, and they would make a happy trio in his apartment. Their life would be happy and warm, full of laughter and good memories. They would take turns at the house work, and treat each other often with little gifts and presents, most of which would relate to some internal, long-running joke between the two.
After another six months, he would propose to her. She would say yes, and they would make love for the whole night, only properly sleeping in the wee hours of the morning. It would be a short engagement, six months at the most. The wedding would be family and friends oriented, the main theme being shared love. They would honeymoon somewhere tropical. Or maybe she was more of a European holiday type girl and wanted to see the historical sites and culture?
She would fall pregnant after a year. It would be a baby boy. He would be proud, happy and energetic, just like him. A girl would be born two years later, quiet and reserved like her mother. Both children would be blonde, like the mother as well. By this stage they would be in the suburbs, living happily in a family home, where they would share even more memories; first days of school, recitals and plays, sports days, broken bones and accidents, learning to ride bikes and roller blade. Everything a suburban family would do, they would do.
The train came to a stop, and the woman stood up, collecting her black bag and red umbrella. He went to stand up and get her name. Perhaps ask how she was if the time permitted, but an onslaught of people got in his way, and he was blocked from her. The last he saw of her was a red umbrella in the distance, walking away from him.