I grew up in the DC area and attended a fairly small school from fourth through twelfth grade. One of the great things about it was that everyone from kindergarten through high school was housed on the same campus, so there was always lots of interaction among students of all ages.
Every fall, older students were matched with younger students to serve as their guides and mentors over the course of the school year. When I was a senior, I was matched with an adorable 12-year-old boy who was new to the school and desperate for guidance. He was a dorky, pimply, quivering mess for most of the year, but I did my best as an older student to make him feel included, push him towards sports and clubs that seemed to suit him, and help him come out of his shell a bit. After I graduated, we lost touch and other than seeing occasional Facebook updates, I hadn’t talked to him since.
Red Line Woes
Fast forward 12 years. Many of my school friends had moved back to the District.
A few weeks ago, I was taking the Red Line to work and got stuck underground due to single tracking. A fire at the Dupont Circle station that had caused offloading and delays for hours. I naively hopped on a train without checking Twitter (silly me) and ended up sitting on a train for 30 minutes before we finally started inching towards the next station.
As I stood there, sweating, annoyed, watching my iPhone battery drain, I kept locking eyes with a guy across the train car. He looked vaguely familiar, but I chalked it up to shared commuter annoyance and figured we were bonding over our exasperation with WMATA. I kept looking up to find him staring at me and noticed he was actually incredibly attractive. He was tall with nice blue eyes and just a little bit of scruff. His outfit was professional without being flashy and he looked far more pulled together than the average DC guy.
Wedding Band Check
I checked his left hand for a wedding band and saw nothing. Interesting. This Metro delay just got significantly less excruciating.
I spent the next half hour checking out the hottie across the car and trying to devise a way to casually make my way over to him. Of COURSE the train started moving the moment I plotted my move. Dangit! My Metro romance was not to be…
By the time I finally got off the train in Chinatown, the sexy, scruffy stranger was nowhere in sight.
Apparently I’d missed my chance.
It was a few hours later when it dawned on me. My single-tracking soulmate was none other than my pimply high school mentee. Dang, he’d grown up good.
Commuter Crush is published every Friday, just in time for your unintentional weekend hookups (or while you’re recovering from your debaucherous Thursday night). If you have an interesting story to share, let us know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag us with #commutercrush.
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