Subway Scenarios and Sweet Surprises
By Olivia Wronski
A love story that begins in an impossible subway scenario that ends with a sweet surprise.
The subway car was quiet, save for the clamor of the train on the tracks. Autumn found a seat in the fairly empty morning train by one of the doors, placing her bag in her lap. When she got bored of staring ahead at the subway window which gave her the delightful view of a dark, continuous expanse of black subway tunnel wall, she let her eyes travel across the overhead ads, attracted by bright colors and bold lettering. When even the vivid imagery of the ads proved to be not enough to satisfy her boredom, she began people-watching, never letting her eyes linger too long on a single person, for fear they would catch her observant gaze.
As the train stopped and the doors opened, Autumn let her eyes fall to her lap, fingers playing with the straps of her bag. The space in front of her filled quickly as people crowded into the train car, packed like sardines in a tin. Looking slightly ahead of her own black heels, she saw bright pink sneakers the color of carnations with slightly dirty white laces tied into floppy bows. Autumn found the pair of shoes quite cute and allowed herself to quickly glance up at who had occupied the space in front of her. A pair of well-worn jeans began at the waist and ended just at the ankle. Autumn studied the handiwork of small daisies sewn into the denim fabric. It seemed homemade but still very skillful, though Autumn couldn’t help but notice a small white thread sticking out from one petal. Tucked into the wide-legged, daisy-decorated jeans was a yellow tank top layered over a white t-shirt. Autumn imagined that this individual seemed fun and bright, unique just like the choice of their sneakers. She sneaked a look at their face, looking up while keeping her head down.
Damn. They had to be the cutest person she had ever seen. Big, full lips glistening with gloss and big bright eyes, the color of molasses and sparkly like gemstones. Two braids starting at the top of their head framed their face, decorated with shiny golden beads. The rest of their hair was perfectly crimped, a braid out leaving their hair voluminous and fluffy. But what Autumn found the most shocking was the eye contact she had made with her subway crush for the morning. She found herself unable to avert her eyes, as if she were wading through the same molasses she had seen in their eyes. The situation was getting extremely awkward, she thought, as the person’s cheeks had begun to turn a dark shade of red. As the subway doors opened, the person immediately left the car, walking quickly through the doors.
Autumn groaned inwardly. How embarrassing.
Holy shit. May could feel the warmth in her cheeks as she quickly placed a cool hand onto her skin as if it would stop the heat that came with blushing. She had been on her way to her job and had not expected to see the most attractive person ever on the crowded train car. Even now as she made the short walk from the subway station to the cafe she owned and managed, envisioned silky black hair and dark eyes, looking up at her through long eyelashes, the fair skin of their neck hidden by a dark turtleneck.
She had caught a glimpse at the identification card looped around their neck with a lanyard. Autumn Lee. The photo on the card showed May a different perspective of her morning subway crush. Perfect teeth in a perfect smile leveled at the camera. Onyx eyes that glimmered at her even through the plastic of the card. That was one lucky camera to get that view firsthand, May thought as she turned down the block, pulling out her keys to open shop.
Autumn stood up from her chair in the office, excited for a break after countless emails and frustrating meetings the whole morning into the afternoon. When work became hard she had to remind herself why she worked hard. She thought of her mother and her brother, all living in a nice apartment outside the city. It was a major upgrade from the dingy apartment they initially lived in. As their main source of income, Autumn knew she couldn’t give up, but a break was appreciated.
Her friend had recommended to her a small cafe a subway stop away, raving about their coffee and baked goods the last time they had met. It would make a great choice for lunch.
It didn’t take long for Autumn to arrive at the cafe, already charmed by the floral appearance of the exterior.
But perhaps the most beautiful thing in the room was the person who came to take her order. Pink sneakers, daisy-decorated jeans, a layered top, and a nametag: “May,” greeted her.
Both women gasped, blushing.
“What can I get you?
“Latte and your number,” Autumn replied before laughing out of embarrassment. “Sorry. I-”
“Ok,” May said quietly, smiling softly at Autumn. “I’d like that.”
Autumn felt her cheeks heat up.
The piece was inspired by my desire to write a queer romance short story. For the multimedia component, I decided to create GIFs, which was a lot more difficult than I was expecting. I used the animation mode in FireAlpaca, a free drawing program. Not only did I learn the basics of animation through this project, but also explored my own sexuality with this wlw piece.
Olivia Wronski is a hopeless romantic, growing up surrounded by the romance genre in books and movies. As an artist, they find ways to express themselves through creative outlets like art and dance. She is an environmental activist, working to change the way we treat our earth, starting with her immediate family and local neighborhood. They are also a queer activist, pushing for rights for all. As a side note, she is a twin sister and is very interested in understanding the phenomenon of twins.