Chapter 4, Scenes from the Tube

This scene was deleted from Chapter Four, and it would’ve happened right after Beth, Jenny, and David met up with Simon at the Tube station to head to Buckingham Palace:

 

The first hour was already threatening to be a challenge – there were mobs of people at the station, and I wondered with certain dread how packed the trains would be.  On occasion I suffered from claustrophobia, which didn’t bode well for me on a day like today.  At least my jitters over being with David had subsided once we’d gotten past the initial exchange; in fact his presence actually pacified me – a reaction I wasn’t used to.

“So, Beth, how are you finding England?” Simon asked as we headed down to the platform to wait for the train.

“So far I’m enjoying it.” As I said that, I peeked over at David, a gesture which did not go unnoticed.

A second later, I berated myself:  What are you doing, Beth?  Could you be any more obvious? Meanwhile, Jenny was pressing her lips together as we stood in front of the tracks.  I cautiously observed her, at the same time trying to avoid David’s cocky expression.

The whooshing of the train arriving stole our attention, and we crammed ourselves onboard to head south toward the Palace.  I stood in the aisle between David and Jenny, who had one arm wrapped around Simon.  The space was tight and it was stuffy inside the carriage.  Thankfully I wasn’t squished against David – that would’ve sent me over the moon – but he was close enough that I could feel his warm breath against me, causing the tiny hairs on my neck to stand up.

Jenny and Simon were giggling and whispering to each other as the train started moving, but I tried to ignore them.  Thankfully the smooth gliding of the underground train put me at ease as I closed my eyes and concentrated on not feeling closed in.  Just when I was starting to completely relax, the overhead speaker announced the next station.  There was a hub-bub of activity as passengers scurried toward the exits.

My hand held firmly to the metal bar above me as the Tube decelerated; and I knew from experience how easy it was to lose balance when the train came to a halt.  This time, however, it was out of my control – for on the final jerk to a stop, Jenny gave me a subtle push in David’s direction, timing it perfectly so that I landed in his arms.  Startled, I gasped loudly.

“Sorry, David,” I mumbled, inching away from him.

“It’s quite alright,” He assured.

The quick movement of his hands on my waist created a pleasant stir inside me that I would not soon forget.  Yet at the same time I wasn’t happy with my cousin, who seemed to have no qualms about embarrassing me in front of David (and the general public).

Jenny!  What are you doing?”  I wanted to scream but kept it to a low hush since there were passengers looking at us like we were a bunch of no-good kids.

“Sorry, I slipped.”  She chuckled under her breath.

“You aren’t funny. I almost landed on top of him,” I whispered angrily, hoping he couldn’t hear me.

“And the problem is – ?”

I grunted with frustration, before facing the ground, shaking my head and sighing.

We managed to get to our destination without any further “accidents”.  I could swear I saw David grin at Jenny out of the corner of my eye as we shuffled over to the exit.  At that I felt my cheeks get hot.