Above the Meadows, In Dreams

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Eve and Paul

Evelyn’s red coat stood out against the gray London skies of February as she hurried down the pavement at the side of the road. Her heels clicked against the asphalt. She bounded down the stairs to the tube and rummaged in her purse at the same time. When she found her Oyster Card, she skidded to the turnstiles and slapped her bright blue leather casing against the sensor. She hurried through and bounded down more stairs. A train pulled into the station when she reached the platform. She smiled and entered after a middle-aged woman and her teenage daughter.

Eve found a seat and squeezed between a suit-clad man in his thirties to her right and an overweight lady with a large leopard-print purse to her left. She kept her head down and pulled her iPad from her purse. Just as she was about to update her boss’s Twitter account, her cell phone rang to the tune of MC Hammer. Eve blushed and cursed under her breath. For once, she disliked the government’s efforts to improve cell phone reception in the tunnels of the London underground.

“I can’t believe you changed the ringtone again,” she hissed at the caller. She did not have to look at the picture on her display to know who was calling her.

There was some laughter on the other end of the line, and then her sister said, “Don’t tell me the cute guy next to you didn’t look up when he heard the song?”

Eve was about to protest when her sister’s words registered. She narrowed her eyes and looked around the train. She could not see her sister, but a glance at her seating neighbor showed her that, indeed, he had looked up. Eve rolled her eyes and motioned at her phone, a forced smile on her face, “My sister. She loves the song. A bit stupid, really.”

He chuckled and shrugged, “That’s alright. We all know people like that.”

Eve grinned at him and nodded. Then she spoke into the phone again, “Where are you, Tiff?”

“I’m in the car to your right. And thanks for calling me stupid, by the way,” Tiffany said.

Eve smiled, “Truth deserves to be spoken.”

“I’ll pop over at the next stop,” Tiffany said and ignored Eve’s insult entirely.

“You better not keep me from working. I’ve got this perfect schedule. I do the social media stuff on the tube so I don’t have to bother at the office. There’s too much to do there at the moment.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Tiffany sighed, and Eve could not help but laugh a little. Her sister had no appreciation for Eve’s work or her disciplined approach to life.

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Illustrations by Harada Miyuki

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