She boarded the Oxford bound train oozing confidence and singing an unfamiliar tune.
I turned to look at the sound resounding from the empty carriage.
The humming of her voice and her heels as they made contact with the elevated floor. She looked at me with a smug, cheeky grin on her face.
‘Whatcha lookin’ at?’ she demanded in her thick London slang.
I considered the question for a moment, as I imagined her making her statement even more boldly, by placing her hands on her hips and stomping her heels on the ground. I watched her expression grow more daunting as she asked again: ‘I said watcha lookin’ at huh?!?’
I thought of all the responses I could possibly swing at her that might wipe that smug look off her face, like:
‘I was just thinking what a beautiful young lady you are, that is until you opened your mouth,’ which in all honesty would probably provoke her even more.
or, ‘I was just trying to figure out what that tune is you were singing.’
or ‘I was just thinking what a beautiful voice you have.’
Of course, none of there statements were true, but might have helped to shut her trap and would hopefully have surprised her.
So, instead I settle for: ‘the same reason you’re looking at me for… you’re thinking ‘I better not mess with that bad ass looking girl or she might knock my teeth in.” Nah, that’s just what I was thinking. But all I did was smile and bow my head, pretending to be a dense foreigner who just didn’t know any better.
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