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Stuck-Up Suit
Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward



MY RIGHT FOOT STEPPED ONTO THE TRAIN, and I froze mid-step spotting him already in the car. Shit! He was sitting across from my usual seat. I backed up.

“Hey, watch where you’re going!” A suit bobbled his coffee, barely keeping it upright as I reversed out of the third car without looking and smashed into him. “What the hell?”

“Sorry!” I offered a fleeting apology and kept going, ducking down below the train’s window as I ran down the platform a few cars. The small lights next to each door began to flash red, and a loud buzzer sounded signaling the train was about to depart. I jumped into car seven just as the doors started to slide closed.

It took a full minute to catch my breath from running the length of four train cars. My ass definitely needed to get back to the gym. I found an empty forward-facing seat, settling in next to someone rather than sit in one of a half dozen vacant interior facing seats. The man lowered his paper as I settled in next to him. “Sorry,” I offered. “I can’t ride facing sideways.” The two seats in front of him were empty. Proper train etiquette would have been to take one of those, but I figured he preferred cozy seating to vomit.

He smiled. “Neither can I.”

Popping in my earbuds, I breathed a sigh of relief and shut my eyes as the train started moving. A minute later, there was a light tap on my shoulder. The passenger next to me pointed to the man standing in the aisle.

I reluctantly pulled out one earbud.

“Soraya. I thought that was you.”

That voice.

“Umm…hi.” What the heck was his name again? Oh, wait…how could I forget? Mitch. High pitch Mitch. I still wasn’t speaking to my sister for that disaster. Worst. Blind. Date. Ever. “How are you, Mitch?”

“Good, actually great now that I ran into you. I tried to reach you a few times. I must have typed in the wrong number, because you never responded to my texts.”

Yeah. That’s it.

He scratched his crotch through his trousers. I had almost forgotten about that little gem. It was probably a nervous habit, but every time he did it, my eye followed his hand, and it was all I could do not to crack up. High pitch Mitch with the Itch. Thanks, Sis.

He cleared his throat. “Maybe we could get some coffee this morning?”

The suit next to me lowered his paper again and looked at Mitch and then to me. I just couldn’t bring myself to be mean to the poor guy; he was nice enough.

“Umm.” I put my hand on the shoulder of the suit next to me. “I can’t. This is my boyfriend, Danny. We got back together a week ago. Right, honey?”

Mitch’s face fell. “Oh. I see.”

Fake Danny joined in. He put his hand on my knee. “I don’t share, buddy. So take a hike.”

“You don’t have to be so rude, Danny.” I glared at the suit.

“That wasn’t rude, babe. This would be rude.” Before I could stop him, his lips were on mine. And it wasn’t a quick peck either. His tongue wasted no time pushing its way into my mouth. I shoved hard at his chest, pushing him off of me.

I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. “Sorry, Mitch.”

“It’s okay. Umm…sorry to have interrupted. Take care, Soraya.”

“You too, Mitch.”

The second he was out of earshot, I scowled at Fake Danny. “What the hell did you do that for, asshole?”

“Asshole? Two minutes ago I was honey. Make up your mind, sweetheart.”

“You have some balls.”

He ignored me, reaching into the inside pocket of his suit jacket to grab his buzzing phone. “It’s my wife. Can you keep it down for a minute?”

“Your wife? You’re married?” I stood. “God, you really are an asshole.”

His legs were stretched out, and he didn’t move them to let me out, so I stepped over. As he lifted the phone to his ear, I grabbed it out of his hands and spoke into the mic without listening. “Your husband is a giant asshole.”

I tossed it back into his lap and walked away in the opposite direction that Mitch disappeared.

And it’s only damn Monday.

This kind of shit was the story of my life. Running into bad dates. Men who turned out to be married.

I made my way into another car so that I didn’t have to look at either “Danny” or Mitch again.

Much to my delight, this car wasn’t as crowded, and there was an empty seat that was forward-facing. My blood pressure immediately went down as I sank into it. I shut my eyes for a moment and let the swaying motion of the train calm me.

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