My Eurostar Affair by Noel Anderson

My brief encounter started innocently enough on the way to Paris, business class, naturally. I had two suitcases full of clothes with me, and I’d just settled into my seat on the Eurostar when someone, hopelessly good looking, accidentally tipped a long black down my front, soaking me to the skin. I was ropable. I didn’t know if I should cry or hurl abuse. So, I shouted, farrkkk! Heaven knows what the other women on board thought, me screaming like a banshee, dressed to the nines in an outfit from Printemps.

“What do you call that?” I yelled, hitting my head on the overhead luggage compartment.

“A very badly stained blouse. Watch your head, sweetie. It was a cold long black, thankfully. What I’m saying is, at least I didn’t burn you. However, it’s damn annoying. I was saving that coffee for the trip, to sip while I work. Best laid plans, eh? My name is Adam, like the apple”

“What are you talking about you idiot?” I snarled back, mopping up spillage.

“You know, the bible. The story of Adam and Eve, temptation and the apple. I don’t suppose your name is Eve?” he smiled. It was a cocky smile. I don’t know why, and given half the chance again I probably wouldn’t…but I decided to lie about my real name. This prick was too good looking to get an honest answer.

“As a matter of fact, it is. Eve… Joanna…Printemps. How on earth did you know my name?”

“Englishmen know a lot,” he assured me.

“Well, you know ‘a lot’ about cricket and spilling coffee,” I insisted, flirting.

“Here, you’re not getting anywhere with that blouse…Eve? Can I call you that?” I nodded, raising an eyebrow. “Please Eve, use my hanky. I’d be honoured,” Adam added, twitching his nose just a little. Was this idiot fucking kidding me? I’m a mess. But, damn he’s hot, so I took the bloody hanky. Adam looked at me for the longest time, and I him. Finally, I broke the ice…

“Thanks, Adam, your ‘accident’ has made my journey…l’original. Work trips can drag. You see, I’m transporting the latest in English fashion to Paris. My suitcases are bigger than my aunt Jessica’s belly. She’s expecting twins. I’m in Paris just for the weekend. I was just planning to sit here alone, uninterrupted, and read my book. Best laid plans, eh?”

“Becoming Michelle Obama? Interesting!” Adam motioned, the book cover peeking out from the top of my handbag. Ignoring him, I continued, “But, this…accident, has brightened my day. So, thanks, Adam …Apple!” I beamed. I cleaned up the spilt coffee as best I could, with a little help from Adam, when he suddenly announced…

“Now, do mind moving, I’ve got the window. I book the same seat every trip. I’m seat 1- row 41, carriage 14, you must be seat 2. It’s marked quite clearly.” Adam raised his left eyebrow in a F.U kinda way. It pissed me off. But, he was right, it was marked very clearly, above my head. I quickly changed seats, all sorted.

“Eve? Do you mind if I call you that?” he asked for the second time. “No I don’t mind Adam, after all it’s my name.” I am such a God damn liar, I thought. “I like you,” he smiled then got on with his work. Nothing remarkable happened for the next half hour, Eurostar raced along, and I got on with reading my book on Michelle Obama and Adam read an insurance report. Well, that’s what I assumed, as I couldn’t quite make out exactly what he was reading from my aisle seat position. The tension was palpable between us. Finally, I could take it no longer, I put down my book…

“Adam? Do you speak French?” I asked politely, falling hopelessly into his brooding grey eyes.

“No. I speak the international language only,” he grinned, magically producing a new hanky from his coat pocket. Gently, he wiped his brow.

“Oh really. And what language would that be?” I said, curling the end of my hair around my fingers.

“Oh, sweet darling Eve, it is the language of love”.

Our conversation had reached its climax, I remember thinking. There was no where for me to hide. So I said nothing. Thankfully a Eurostar announcement broke the silence. “Mesdames et hommes gentils. Bienvenue à Paris. Nous arriverons au Gard De Nord dans quelques minutes. Assurez-vous de récupérer vos affaires avant de partir. Bonne journée” I gathered my belongings, readying myself to exit at Gard De Nord.

“Do you know the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden?” I asked. Adam nodded tucking his hanky into his pocket. “You know, God fashioned Adam from dust. He told him to eat freely from all the trees in the garden except the Tree of Knowledge.”

“Did he? Fancy that,” Adam smirked.

“Of course, Adam didn’t listen, most men don’t, ” I smirked back.

“Eve was created from one of Adam’s ribs, wasn’t she? And, didn’t she offer Adam the apple from the forbidden tree?” Adam corrected.

“Yes. But, Eve was searching for something. She didn’t know shame or temptation until she met Adam”.

“So, Adam is the root of all evil?” he whispered. “What about the serpent that offered Eve the apple in the first place? Maybe He is really, a She?” he added, tucking his laptop away. At this point of the conversation, I decided Adam Apple was a dick of biblical proportions, so I politely said goodbye and left the train.

In the taxi on the way Printemps, I glanced out the window at Sacre Coeur in the distance and thought of him, Adam. God, works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?.. I thought, looking down at my stained blouse. Then, I banished him from my mind forever and got on with my working day in Paris. Perhaps I’ll have dinner out tonight, alone, I thought, as the taxi sped down Boulevard Haussmann.

About the author – Noel Anderson has worked in film and theatre and is currently adapting his play Sammy & Dave into a film. Noel has directed over 50 theatrical productions. Check out Noel’s new Podcast ‘Email To My 17-Year-Old Self‘ on Podbean and on iTunes Channel ‘Noel Anderson’s 15 Minutes of Fame.

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