Marked in Red

The elegant tap of her designer pumps brightens the sound of the working morning. One hand clasps a sleek umbrella and the other, a piping hot coffee. The blonde bob resting on her shoulders bounces with every graceful step and her plump red lips smile at her admirers. She is something out of an advertisement, women envy her and men want her.

Home of beautiful shops and designers galore, it’s her favourite place to unwind after a tiresome week. She breathes in the London air, a cocktail of busy bodies and pollution, misted with the perfume clinging to her neck.

The coffee is drained, her feet slightly sore from wandering about the shops and the umbrella now held high protecting her from the April showers.

A quick dash back to the safety of the tube and she joins the rest of the commuters. The train is on time, with plenty of empty seats. A middle-aged man places his newspaper down on the vacant seat next to him. She spots the seat and walks forward, careful not to trip over askew bags and protruding feet. Folding the paper neatly she places it behind her. She brushes down her skirt before taking a seat.

The train empties quickly, leaving her almost alone. She glances around the carriage and then retrieves the newspaper. Her feet, as if on automatic, slip out of her pumps. Sore and pinched, they reveal several holes in her well-worn tights.

She spends the rest of her journey circling job advertisements in a pen redder than her lipstick.

Show story love