I met him on the train that day on my way to Sydenham. He was flickering through pages of a book and looked up at me as I entered; an indecipherable expression plastered on his face. If ever time stood still for me, it was at that moment. I recollected how his deep-set eyes were always like windows to his soul; his very self, laid bare in them. But now, he stared at me with a different pair of intense eyes which seemed to veil his true self. I took a seat just across him, took my phone out and sent a text to my best friend 9000 km away who was possibly entangled in deep slumber; “He’s in front of me”. He shifted uneasily in his seat and closed his book nervously tapping his fingers on it. I watched as sunlight hugged his auburn skin etching the creases sketched across his face with deep hues. Beneath those layers of time and space, I knew he was there. The boy in the bee patterned jersey who always confused the Fleming’s hand rules. My best friend forever and the love of my life. A stray lock of hair falls over his eyes and he notices me staring at him as he raises his hand to fix. I flush at the warmth of his gaze and immediately look away. I plug in my earphones, tap on shuffle and ‘Beautiful Freak’ by Eels floods in. I smile unwarily only to catch him looking at me with a look of surprise. Seconds pass like dominoes toppling over in a line building an invisible impassable divide between us brick by brick. The train, however, chugs on, blind and oblivious, irrespective of its passengers and their untold stories. With the song still flooding into my ears, the whole scene seems like a backdrop to our classroom, where he scribbled intricate circles on my notes and hummed the same song, enchantingly off-tune. As we talked for hours about enigmas and forever, we slipped briskly into an intimacy from which we never escaped. At least, I never did. The train halts with a jerk as the guard announces we reached the destination. I look across to find the seat in front empty. My heart sinks as I snap out of my reverie. He wasn’t there. Three degrees and hundred kilometers away, he was probably on a train, reading a book, thinking about a girl from university. My phone buzzes as I receive the reply from my best friend. “Tell him he owes you a dance”. Turns out, the past is always your past- even if you forget it, it remembers you. I smile, keep my phone in my pocket and get off the train. I’ll tell him the next time I see him.