I smelt him before I saw him. His perfume hung heavily around him...I hoped he would not sit near me...my asthma is easily triggered by the mixture of heat and perfume...of course he sat next to me...
"When is the train going?" he asked, in an accent that if anything, was from the middle east. When one speaks a foriegn language, it is easier as a foriegner to recognise other foriegn accents than as a native speaker. If I had to give a rough guess, I would put my bet on Syria...
"Its up there" I said, pointing to the screen...
"Have the trains been cancelled today? he asked
"Not that I know of..."
"So how come the next one is in twenty minutes? Shouldnt there be one in about ten minutes?
"Today is saturday"
"You know, I don't normally take the train...I normally use my car"
"So you are going for a party?"
"Perhaps you want to drink, thats why you are not using your car today, after all it is saturday"
"Oh no, my car is in service thats why"
He smiled at me and put out his hand...
I shook his hand...
"Waffy" I said.
"And you are from?"
"Nigeria, and you?"
You fucking got to be kidding me! this is his player tactics! Mary, mother of Jesus! Nobody from Italy introduces himself as "Italiano"...and maybe he should have changed the music blasting from his phone if he really wanted anybody to believe he was Italian...dumbass...arabic music is not so hard to NOT recognise...
And...did his hand just snake over my shoulder??????????????????
The movement I made can hardly be called a "jerk", it was a mixture of "cringing" and a jerk...which could have turned into a blow...
The shock of my movement made him move almost with reflex. I could see that he must be a constant reciever of such movements...
"You know, I never take the train, so all this is new to me"
I took his appearance in...expensive leather slippers or something that was supposed to look expensive...gold watch, a white shirt, loosely left open at the top of the neck, some sort of slacks and his over powering perfume...
"So what do you do?" I asked
"Italiano" he said
I almost sniggered...what was his obsession with that fucking word?
"I am a cook. An Italian cook. I work in an Italian restaurant"
"Are you going to a party?"
Was this human being aware that his accent was not in anywhere near to any of the European language groups? Even I could do a more convincing "Italian accent"! My years of speaking with Italian Warri Ashawo returnees would have come in useful...
"Can I have your number?"
"Why don't you give me your number and maybe one day, I 'll come and visit you at your restaurant"
"So...it starts with ------ I paused. I opened my phone...
He must have forgotten that he told me "Karpri"...maybe he normally uses both "player names" and now he forgot which one he used...
My train rolled into the station.
"Good bye then" I said.
He winked at me.