Part 1: I could feel her eyes boring into me. I thought "Lady... I know," and caught her dead on with a wink - square in the face - before she could pull her glance away. I smirked at her jolt, out of time with the train's shudders. Her ass had actually left the seat with the shock; her neck twisting in whiplash to the car crash of my wink - that's gotta hurt! She kept her head turned to the side, her long neck exposed and her cheeks visibly reddening as I looked at her. She was old enough to be my mother; young enough to keep her looks. High cheek bones, silky, dark brown hair in natural waves glistening in the bright mid-morning sun flooding into our carriage. She was Italian, maybe; wearing a knee-length floaty summer dress with her long, tanned legs crossed, falling into white heels. A vision of beauty. She must have known her own power, her power over men - yet her neck lay still exposed to me. "Lady," I thought, "I know." I stood up - slower than necessary - and stood just a little too close to her still-seated frame while I fumbled with my bags in the overhead compartment. I'm 6'3 and was totally aware of how close the crotch of my jeans was to her face. I let my sweatshirt ride up in the knowledge it would show off the top of my boxer shorts - maybe a little skin - just to give her a tiny peek. I knew she was looking. I didn't really need anything up there, but these little games, you know, the mind games you play with curious strangers, they're what keeps you sane on these long journeys. I took a tub of hair gel and made my way to the end of the carriage, all too conscious of the faces on the train, the faces of strangers. That was what I'd be seeing at the end of my journey, I guess, the face of a stranger. I finished my piss, washed up and took a look at myself in the full-length mirror (these long-journey trains are pretty swanky, I thought). Like I said, 6'3, blonde, green eyes, good skin other than the few occasional zits - forgivable at 20, I guess - and pretty broad shoulders; and that's just what nature provided. I pulled up my sweatshirt, with the top of my boxers coming through low slung jeans. Daily cardio exercises followed by 100 sit-ups a day let me maintain a 28" waist with abs that popped on command. Even better, the secret weapon was inside the boxers; my piece de la resistance - not that anyone had ever resisted... I took my seat again, hair gelled a little into spikes. Pretty unnecessary, I had given up on the flirting. Actually I hardly made eye contact with the woman again, caught up in my own thoughts. Ally, what was he going to be like? Last time I saw the guy we were short and overweight; but time had been kind on me - maybe too kind. What if he was the same ugly little kid? What if he was so totally different than when I had last seen him? Seven years had passed and I was headed south, on a train, to meet my old best friend - now a stranger - apropos of one phone call. The train pulled into Newcastle station and the summer dress and heels clicked towards the door, a little white case rolled behind. I guess it was the fact I hadn't knocked the wind out of her by playing any more games that gave her back that womanly confidence - the train picked up again and I was sent off from Newcastle station with an overblown air-kiss from her lipsticked bocca. I met her mouth with a smile from behind the glass.