A/N: took a long time for this idea to hit paper. im rather fond of this story. i see my life reflected in all of the characters. i hope you enjoy reading it as much as i did writing it. constructive criticism welcomed!!!!!

She was that girl.

The kind you see on the underground and you don't know but you wish you did and you feel that you almost

do. She's the kind who seems to know almost everyone else except for you. She could sit next to anyone and strike up a

conversation. Sometimes about life and sometimes about the weather and sometimes about neither. She had that hair that was

that perfect color just between brown, and red, and gold. But looking between her exotic beauty and that thick gorgeous hair

you don't think that she quite did either justice because she always wore the same long plait down her back and over her

shoulder with tendrils of loose curl twining away from the sleek curves of the braid. They would twine around her face just so

and as she talked to you she would twist it around her delicate fingers. She wore Dior and Gucci and many things that she

designed herself. But she wore them differently. Most girls are dominated by their Dior such a bold name can be overbearing

but not this girl. She wore the clothes like they were made to be worn- to let everyone who saw her know that she was in

charge of the clothes and not the other way around. She had that charisma that made you look up when she boarded the

underground. She would sit down next to you and cross her ankles just so and drape that sleek braid over her shoulder.

Introducing herself as Nadia she would sit and listen to whatever you had to say while staring you right in the soul with her grey

eyes. While she listened she would unweave that braid, pull her fingers through it, then rework. Those fine tendrils would

always fall around her face again within a few moments.

He first saw her on the Tuesday morning train. He usually took the eight thirty instead of the seven forty two but he was running

early and thought he'd stop for a bagel and her coffee was good.

He was skimming over one of the many stories that he was supposed to be drawing for when the train stopped. He didn't look

up. Not much new happened…ever.

"Good morning, can I sit by you?" asked a cheerful female voice. He looked up. She wasn't talking to him. The girl took a seat

next to the woman across from him. But with a second glance he would have awarded few he found himself swept away. She

was not extraordinarily beautiful like the blonde models who caught your eye on fifth avenue in New York. But she was exotic

in a deeply European way. He half expected her to speak with one of those thick beautiful accents like the Czech and Russian

girls did. It took him a moment to realize that he was staring at the girl and quickly raised the story in his hands to eye level. But

the adventures of a pig named Gordo were failing to capture his mind or his attention. He glanced over the page at the girl. She

sat with her ankles crossed just so and her long fingers unbraiding that long, thick plait. He kept of sneaking glances until she

got off. He watched her walk away, that lovely braid swinging across her back. Then the doors closed and the train pulled

away and he realized that he'd missed his stop.

He got off at the next stop and ran the six blocks to Lola's. The bagel shop smelled of yeast and cinnamon. He flopped onto

one of the stools at the counter.

"Good morning, Tyler!" Lola said, wiping off the counter in front of him. Tyler usually stopped by in the evenings for a

sandwich. Roast beef and provolone on rye with mustard. No mayonnaise. She always looked foreword to seeing him. He was

kind and handsome. With dark eyes and a soft voice. He dressed nice too. In Pravda mostly. But now Lola found herself a bit

flustered. She had flour streaked across her face and yeast under her nails. She quickly called for Madeline- her help- to finish

with the ovens while she manned the counter. Lola raised her rag to her face and used it to wipe the white powder off. With the

other hand she straightened her curly, blonde bob. She glanced at Tyler across the room as she washed her hands. His face

glistened with sweat and his hair was all gone wayward. Her heart skipped a beat.

"Can I get you anything?" she called to him while drying her hands.

"A rye bagel with cream cheese." He lowered his head in to his hands then picked it back up. Could it be? The girl from the

underground sat at a corner table, sipping a cup of tea and watching out the window. His heart skipped a beat and leaped into

his throat. His first thought was to go talk to her but his feet were glued to the floor and his lead body wouldn't be lifted from

the chair. He was scared to death. Tyler flushed red and turned away from her. Instead he watched her reflection in the

stainless steel rim of the counter top.

"You look stressed, Tyler." Lola said, sliding his bagel toward him and leaning on the counter across from him.

"No," he said, "just work and….stuff." Lola laughed. It was strange to hear Tyler use a word like stuff. He was usually so

eloquent. She wondered what was really up with him. She poured her self a cup of coffee and came around the counter to sit

by him.

"Ty, could I ask you-" She was cut off by the bell over the door and had to run back behind the counter to greet the new

customers. Tyler realized that he was going to be late for work and shouted out a goodbye. As he walked away from Lola's he

cast a long look behind him at the girl in the window. He imbedded her form, her face, her gaze into his memory, vowing never

to forget her.

The next morning Tyler found himself fretting over what to wear. He ran his hand over a rainbow of Pravda shirts and

wondered what that girl- what Nadia's- favorite color was. She'd worn green the day before. A green skirt and a green jacket

with a pink paisley shirt underneath. His eyes settled on a Kelly green polo. He pulled it on and adjusted the collar before

running out the door to catch the seven forty-two. His heart pounded as they neared the next stop. He prayed that she would

be on like yesterday. His breath came faster and he tried to seem occupied in his work. His pencil idly sketched the outline of

Gordo the pig. The train slowed, the doors opened, and there she was as radiant as yesterday. That same braid falling down

her back and over her shoulder. His face flushed crimson and he looked down, staring up at her through his long, dark lashes.

His heart was about to beat through the wall of his chest and lie throbbing on the floor of the underground. She smiled and

walked toward him. She cocked her head and adjusted his shirt collar, nodded and took a seat a couple of places down from

him. His heart swelled with joy. She'd noticed him. She'd been less than a foot away from him. She'd fixed his collar. He

wondered if she'd go to Lola's. If she'd let him treat her to coffee. If she'd fix his collar again. What nonsense was he thinking?

He shook his head and watched her untwine that plait out of the corner of his eye.

Lola looked especially nice that morning. Her short, blonde curls were kept back by a blue scarf. She smiled at him as he came

and sat at the counter.

"Morning, Tyler." she said

"Morning, Lola, I need something sweet as honey and fine as a spring day. I don't doubt you can do it for me. Is Maddy working today?"

Lola nodded as she selected a bagel, brown with cinnamon, from the warm oven. "She's in the kitchen."

"Fetch her for me!"

"But, Ty-"

"Please, Lola, I haven't seen the girl in weeks!" Tyler pleaded.

Lola sighed and called for Maddy who came running from the kitchen and practically into Tyler's arms. She jumped up on the

counter and grabbed him around the neck, ruffling his hair with her hands.

"Tyler! What's new, dear heart?" she asked.

"Not much, beautiful, just wanted to ask you something."

"Ooh!" she squealed, leaning closer to him.

"What can you tell me about that girl in the corner." he whispered, motioning to Nadia from the underground.

"Ooh, Tyler, you asking 'bout a girl? Miracles do 'appen!"

"Yes, but what do you know about her?" "

Nadia designs furniture and clothes. Popular stuff. Office down a couple of blocks. She wears nice stuff like you. Is this shirt

Pravda?" she reached for the tag in the back of his shirt.

"Yes yes but what does she drink?"

"Tea and chocolate. Coffee once in a while. She likes daisies and yellow roses. Wears them in her hair sometimes."

"Thanks, Maddy. Oh, and I'm coming to your wedding."

"Oh good! Only five weeks left! And you're welcome. Anytime, baby." she said, kissing him on the forehead and running back

to the kitchen.

That evening before he stopped back at Lola's Tyler walked down the street where Maddy had said Nadia's office was. He

looked in all the windows he could see, trying to find Nadia. He had a vision of her leaning low over a sketchpad, designing a

hat with a wide brim and classic shaping. But his stomach finally stopped his search and he determined to walk to Lola's by

way of the flower shop where he bought a single yellow rose.

Lola's heart stopped when she saw him set that rose on the counter in front of him. It sank when she saw him leave with it.

The rose sat all night on his bed stand in a glass of water and the next morning he slid it into his briefcase to give to Nadia on

the underground or at Lola's whenever he could work up some courage. He was sure he could do it. But when she got on the

stop after his he slid his hand into his case and wrapped it around the thorny stem of the rose but he found himself frozen in that

position. His palm pierced and bleeding on his sketches. Scared out of his mind.

At Lola's he stared at her reflection in the steel rim of the counter. He admired her form and poise and the way she held her

teacup and the way she crossed her ankles just so, and how that long braid fell just so over her shoulder; and he tried and tried

to get up his courage to simply stand up and lay that yellow rose down on the table in front of her. But the time came for him to

leave and he did so with the rose still in his case with his blood dappled sketches. He worked hard all day never letting the

image of Nadia leave his mind. He mixed his paints, trying to match the color of her hair. He drew a dancing girl with her face

and another holding an umbrella in the rain with Nadia's exact poise. He r image flew over and over again from his pencil but

each time he was dissatisfied. He failed to capture her beauty in art. When his day was done the rose had wilted and he

stopped again to buy another. As he entered his apartment he threw the dead one on the windowsill- a mark of his failure.

Two weeks passed, each day in the same way. Tyler would come home to throw another dead rose and another failure on the

windowsill and he would put the fresh new one in the glass on his table. Hope for tomorrow. But each tomorrow would just

result in another failure. Fear of absolutely nothing. And Lola's heart ached more and more each day.

On one of these days Tyler stopped in at the flower shop to buy his rose. The little Euro girl behind the counter who served him

every evening grinned at him as he came in.

"I been wantin' to ask yeh sommin for these last days, sah." she said.

"Shoot." he said, handing her his money.

"Who's you be givin' all these yella roses to, sah? A pretty lady, 'haps?" she grinned up at him.

"No," Tyler said, "I mean I've been too afraid. They all lay dead on my windowsill." The girl smiled at him and, leaning over

the counter, lay her small hand over his, "But, sah, what yeh got to be ascared of? After all, what lady din't lyke no yella roses?

She ent gon hate you fer givin' 'er no yella roses that's fo' sha'!" "That's what I've been trying to tell myself." Tyler said,

resting his head on his hand "Jus' try et, sah." the girl said, patting his hand encouragingly, "She might lyke you. If an 'ansum lad

lyke you gave me a yella rose I'd sure as fire lyke et!" Her words ran through his mind all the way to Lola's where he ate in

silence under Lola's enamored gaze. Silence until the bell over the door jangled and a familiar voice said, "Lola, could I get a

cheese sandwich and some tea?" And Tyler's heart froze solid. He turned to see Nadia shaking rain off of her black umbrella

and brushing damp tendrils from her grey eyes. He turned away, staring at the yellow rose in front of him on the counter.

"Ty," Lola said, sitting next to him, "I have to tell you something." The shop girl's words echoed in his mind, "What lady din't

lyke no yella roses?" He stood up, shaking slightly with adrenaline.

"Ty, I think I-" "A moment, Lola, just a moment." he stepped almost confidently toward Nadia and gently touched her

shoulder. Without a word he handed her the yellow rose and his heart stopped. He had done it. She looked back and forth

between him and the flower.

"I'm Tyler." he said softly, "could I buy your dinner for you? And then perhaps take you for ice cream or perhaps an evening at

the theatre?" She sat and looked at him for one tortuous moment before rising with the rose between her delicate fingers. She

adjusted his shirt collar and smiled at him. "Dinner can wait I suppose. Ice cream sounds wonderful." And the two strode out

into the night, huddled together under her big, black umbrella as Lola stared after Tyler with a tear resting on her lashes and a

shattered heart.