Two Boys On a Train

by It's Only Me from Across the Sea

He got on the train in the early evening at London St Pancras International, heading for deepest Kent, sat down, stood up again, got his laptop and phone and put them on the table in front of him and his bag on the luggage rack, and started on the treat-sized Yo! Sharing platter he'd succumbed to from the station food court. Across the central aisle to his right across the table from each other were two lads, slim, perhaps 17, behaving like lads of 17.

Each good looking, one had darker hair than the other. Both short haired, each had a fresh look about him. The lad facing the same way as him would have looked truly lovely had he not had the misfortune of a pimple. But that would pass. It was a warm October day and each was bare armed, tanned. His mind drifted to the US Second Amendment, but 'bear' was a different spelling.

They started a game of slap-me-if-you-can. He wondered if the age old game had a name. They were in their own world, but the real world crept in. They'd seen him glance their way. In fairness even a heterosexual bloke would have glanced because they were having fun, but he let his eyes linger that extra moment, thinking, wondering, half wishing.

A particularly loud moment. "You'll have to excuse him, he's has two beers!" the lighter haired one said to him, laughing, eyes sparkling.

"Ah, a couple of drinks and he's anybody's!" He wondered at the daring of his reply.

"Yup, I'm a cheap date!" The darker haired one was grinning, meeting his eyes.

He smiled, both to them and to himself. He let the moment go for too long, the moment he might have said "I'll buy you another, if you like." And, forty years younger, he might have said it, had he dared, had the world back then been the world of today. He let his smile say it, as he turned back to his sushi indulgence and his laptop.

'I should feature these two in a story', he thought. 'I wonder if they know they're sitting next to a gay story writer?' But it was an internal chortle he gave, one not to be shared, not that evening at least.

He knew they knew he was watching them out of the corner of his eye. They showed off for him, a little. The lighter haired lad had a wrist support on his right hand, and got it slapped by the darker. He looked over and smiled, not just at his companion, but across the aisle at him, too, as he investigated his hurt thumb.

There was something happening between these two. Their gaze was adoring as each thought the other didn't see. He wondered if each knew the other was attracted, whether each realised their attraction was returned. These boys were out of his league, out of his time, though he wished it different.

Lighter hair's face was slapped by darker's right hand. They were getting rowdier, but in a controlled way. Whatever alcohol they'd consumed had dissipated and they were just being boys, having fun, and, he thought, showing off a little. Was it for him, because of him, or was it just what they did always.

He wanted the journey not to end. The longest it could be was 89 timetabled minutes. He was to stay aboard until Margate, the end of the line for this service. At every station he hoped it was not theirs, hoped that they might, in some world of lunacy, stay until his stop, and somehow… though that could never be… could it?

As Canterbury West was announced they both rose. Then he knew for sure, not that they were getting off at that stop, that was obvious. He knew that they cared for each other. Darker hair adjusted lighter hair's green collar, made sure he looked just right. Lighter hair smiled.

He smiled at them, certain that they would not see his smile as they left the train, went out into the darkness of the night. He hoped they were about to enjoy what he suspected they might not be aware they could be enjoying, should be enjoying, because they weren't, somehow, quite as aware that their attraction to the other was returned as was he from his seat across the train aisle. 'Boys that pass in the night,' he thought, as he continued his solitary journey to Margate. 'If only they were going to my destination, too. Perhaps we could have gone for a drink, or for a coffee, or just for a walk.'

What is the difference between fiction and real life?

The only way to know is if the two lads on the 19:12 London St Pancras International to Margate train on Monday, 22 October 2018 should read this and decide to get in touch. I know they'll remember the trip because they were having fun. They'll remember me, too. It's likely that they either live or study in Canterbury. I've no idea of their names, for names were not used.

Were they 17? A year younger or a couple of years older, but they were in that broad bracket. I wish I'd dared ask them for a picture.

Each is tall and slim. Each is good looking, somewhere between cute and handsome as they make the transition from boys to men. Individually they were each very attractive. As a couple they were glorious. I do hope I'm right and that they're a couple. Of course, I can't be sure that either is gay, but I am as sure as I can be without knowing them. I tend to be good at recognising boys who are attracted to other boys.

Or maybe they just like flirting with each other.

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