Toby had been aware of Suma for some time. They were fellow commuters on the 7.15. He had seen her the first day he caught the train and had been fascinated by the small woman and her impish good looks.
As time went by they became nodding acquaintances.
After several months they began chatting.
Toby was in no way naïve enough to think of Suma being interested in him; he was essentially a shy man and was in no way presumptuous about his looks.
Over the weeks they chatted and often to fill the boredom of the journey to work. They worked in a similar location and would alight at the same stop.
One day Toby made a light comment about it being Friday and they could have a drink after work before their trip home.
Suma said yes and so what followed was Toby worrying all day about this date that he thought she’d never go for. During his lunch break he went out and purchased some new deodorant and after-shave and a new shirt.
They met in the bar near their respective work places, which was a buzz with fellow Friday afternoon workers looking forward to their weekends. They found a seat near the back corner and it went from there.
Hours later they were still locked in conversation, so much so that all thought of getting home and eating had been forgotten.
The flickering lights of the bar signalled closing time and they both looked at each other wondering where the evening had gone.
They discovered that they lived relatively close to each other and decided since it was late they would take a taxi home and split the cost.
In the back seat of the taxi Suma took Toby’s hand and thanked him for the wonder evening she had spent with him. She invited him to her place for a drink before the night ended.
Suma lived in a small one-bedroom place and she and Toby continued to chat until Toby realising it was late suggested he should be off home.
He walked to the door, in a way elated at the way the evening had gone and in another way sorry it had to end.
As he stood at the door Suma took his head in her hands and kissed him.
Toby melted into her.
In the following weeks they saw each other a lot, he stayed at her place and she at his. Their relationship blossomed, the connection they shared was special beyond words and Toby would pinch himself every so often to remind himself Suma was all-real.
They shared each other’s life stories. They had both had their share of sadness and grief. Suma revealed her years of abuse, Toby his years of suffering at the hands of an overpowering, uncaring woman who took everything when she eventually left him.
Suma loved Toby because as she’d said to him on several occasions Toby took her for who she was, a damaged woman, a woman on guard against all men. He respected her and had been honest with her in all their discussions. He saw no point in being anyone other than who he was.
Their’s was a union that was loving and caring, they looked out for each other, their sex was giving and fulfilling, they both loved the thought of waking up each morning in each other’s arms. They both agreed the feeling they had when together was an awakening of their spiritual and physical selves.
Suma worked for a large accounting firm and announced that she would be away for some time as they were sending her inter state on a special mission. But she promised to be back before Christmas.
Toby missed her greatly. As Christmas approached he thought he may have heard from her but there was no word, no message, no communication of any sort.
It was Christmas Eve and he had decorated his living room tastefully he thought in expectation of Suma arriving before Christmas.
By 11PM he had begun to think she wasn’t coming and was preparing to lock up the house before going to his bed.
There was a noise at the front door and looking towards it he saw a white envelope slip under it.
Inside he found a card:
MERRY CHRISTMAS TOBY
May I come in?
Opening the door he found her, wrapped only in Christmas tinsel. As she came through the door she kissed him lightly on the lips before heading towards his bedroom.
Toby couldn’t help but smile as he saw her bare bottom disappearing into his bedroom.