I met Precious in the tube. It was around six o’clock in the evening on Thursday. There were obviously more than enough people in the train but they were all used to the crowd at this time of the day. Thursday we had survived, Friday was calling. 

Precious had found a spare seat and she was reading a book. Observing her smart clothing and Nike trainers, I thought she was probably working for a bank. She seemed focused at the book which cover said: “Cinderella”. I thought of my bag full of reads none of which containing any kind of fiction. Why a woman between 25 and 30 would be so concentrated on a fairy tale? 

– Hello, it will sound cheeky, but have you never read Cinderella before?

Precious looked at me. Now I could have seen her dark circles, tired face and red eyes. No judgement. Perhaps, she could blame me for my messy hair and old jumper.

– I know the story – she replied. – I just like it and it keeps me awake while travelling.

I looked around. The same old picture. People sleeping, people about to fall asleep and enthusiastic talkers. Precious was different.

– Excuse me. Where do you work, if it’s not a secret?

– I work in a business company for a while. I am about to be promoted soon. 

– Oh, this is amazing news. Do you like your job?

She smiled for a first time. 

– Of course I do. It keeps me tired all the time and I have no time to think about my lonely cheap life. I am Precious, by the way, — she laughed. – Oh, this is my stop. Take care and carry on! – She winked at me and left the train with the most beautiful walk I have ever seen.

Her words affected me. They explained everything. Fairy tales are needed; life is ugly; and the line between crying and laughing is Precious. I twinkled. Now I was able to be back to my journey. Three more stops to home, six more hours to the next day, and a whole life ahead to my dreams.


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