What Was Going On
When she realized what was happening, she experienced a lump in her throat. She noticed the window's reflection and immediately understood. They were filming her.
She spoke in a forceful voice while now looming over him. He had to know how she felt about it. He revealed something to her that she could never have been ready for because he knew the game was over.
Taking The Train Home
After finishing her time at work, Uma Mageswari decided to take the train home. But something unexpected happened when she was on the train.
She finished her shift at 8:00 PM, and Uma boarded the train a half-hour later. She worked long, repetitive hours at a job in Singapore and was growing weary of it. However, things would shortly become unpredictable.
For the past few years, she has commuted to and from work by train. She would go on it at 6:00 AM and get off at 8:30 PM. For her, the lengthy hours were standard. Things were never easy.
She was left to take care of her mother, which was a big job. She was aware of her responsibilities because her sister was an adult with a family of her own. She found it to be anything but easy.
A Price To Pay
Uma had to take care of her mother and make sure she was okay since she didn't have a husband or children. She didn't mind giving up her days to assist her mother, but there was a price to pay.
She would make sure to call her mother each day to see how she was doing. Her mother undoubtedly saw that she would consistently buy a bag of her favorite snacks.
He Was Acting Strangely
Although they rode the same train, they had never sat close to one another. She attempted to avoid making eye contact with him since she had a strange feeling about him.
She always made the decision to keep her distance from him because the train was so empty. She therefore felt a lump in her throat when he chose to sit directly across from her.
Uma felt incredibly uncomfortable when she looked up and saw the man staring directly at her. She then looked down, doing her best to block off the intrusive gaze.
The faint sound of the wheels clacking on the tracks soon sent her thoughts off in another direction. She had to restrain herself from nodding off because her eyes had begun to get heavy. But when she turned to face the man, she noticed something unpleasant.
It appeared at first as though the man had stopped staring at her and was now preoccupied with his phone. Before she realized the reflection, she exhaled a sigh of relief.
He was recording her with his phone camera, which was visible in the window reflection behind him. In frustration, she could feel her hands clenching. He had to realize that this was inappropriate.
She understood that trying to make him uncomfortable would be ineffective. She made the decision to follow suit, pulled out her phone, and began to record.
The proof she would require would be in her recording. Then she could authoritatively reprimand him. However, she was mistaken about what the man was truly doing.
She's Had Enough
Now that she had concrete proof of what he was doing, he wouldn't be able to contradict anything. In an effort to appear innocent, he pretended to be looking somewhere else.
He had obviously done this before, as she could tell. She decided she had had enough and would confront what he was doing as her rage increased.
Calling The Cops
She addressed him, and he stared at her in disbelief. She contacted the authorities while she stood in front of him. As she described what had just transpired, she glared at him.
Her voice was accusatory and harsh. Under her forceful tone and assured stance, the man actually shrank back. She was utterly caught off guard when he suddenly started to panic.
A Kind Gesture
She listened to him as her eyes grew teary. She had no idea that he had known her for so long and had figured out so much about her.
Once he explained everything and then showed her his phone. Uma couldn’t be mad at him. In fact, she felt rather touched by his kind gesture and grabbed a tissue to catch her tears. What happened?
He wasn’t filming her, he was taking a picture of her and posting it on his art page. Philip Stear was a photographer who was creating a new series of photographs on his instagram page called the “#TrainSeries”.
He had taken a picture of Uma and wrote a caption that drove Uma to tears.
All For Art
The concept behind his work was to capture the portraits of people he found interesting on trains and to let their photo depict their life.
However, with Uma’s photo, this man had a lot more to say than Uma could have ever imagined. For the first time in a long time, she felt truly seen. What did it say?
The photographer noted that he first met this stranger (Uma) on the train years ago. And that he’s seen her on the train everyday since. He mentioned how hard she works, imagining she worked over a 12 hour day.
He mentioned her tired eyes with a hint of sadness and how he was curious to know who she always bought food for. The photo he took was beautiful. It was enough to make Uma burst into tears.
She apologized to him for thinking the worst and called the authorities to write off her report as a misunderstanding. But even though his intentions were good, was it still okay?
Uma shared her story online but it was met with mixed comments. Some suggested that even if his intentions were kind, it’s still indecent to take a picture of someone without them knowing. What do you think?
An Overwhelming Feeling
Uma thought about whether she had done the right thing. What this strange photographer did was an invasion of her personal space. How would she travel to work now?
He was taking pictures of her with his camera. She felt uneasy and self-conscious but didn't want to say anything. Had she made herself a target?
As Uma reached home, she couldn't shake the feeling that something was off. There was something weird about the photographer. Her mood was entirely off, and she felt missing something.
She decided to forget about it. Maybe she would never see him again. But she didn’t know how wrong she was.
The Dreaded Train Ride
The next day Uma was weary as she approached the train station. She wondered if the same photographer would be there. As she entered her carriage, she saw him. It was as though he was waiting for her. She thought that this whole ordeal was over. The man looked up from his camera, surprised.
"Oh, I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable," he said. "I'm a photographer, and I saw you on the train and thought you would be perfect for my art page on Instagram."
Uma stared straight at him even though inside she was taken aback. "But you can't just take pictures of people without their permission," she said.
The man nodded. "You're right; I apologize. My name is Jack, by the way. I noticed you seemed tired and sad, and I thought I could capture that emotion in my photography."
A Strange Response
Uma was surprised that he had noticed her emotions. She couldn't help but feel flattered, but she was still hesitant. "I don't know, Jack," she said. "It still feels like an invasion of privacy."
Jack held up his camera. "I promise you, I only want to take a few pictures. And if you don't like them, I'll delete them immediately."
Taking A Chance
Uma thought about it for a moment. She was tired and sad, but seeing herself through someone else's eyes might be nice. "Okay," she said. "But just a few."
Jack smiled at her as he bent down on one knee. He aimed his camera in her direction and signaled Uma that he was ready for her.
In The Zone
Jack took a few pictures of Uma, and as he did, she relaxed. He was gentle and respectful, and he seemed to understand her emotions.
Uma’s heart was racing. She had never done anything so risqué before. Something she had just spoken so harshly against, she was now allowing him to do. But there was something about Jack that she couldn’t deny.
After he was done, he showed her the pictures on the camera's screen. Uma was surprised at how beautiful she looked. "These are amazing," she said.
"I'm glad you like them," Jack said. "I would love for you to be a part of my art page on Instagram." He placed his hand on Umas’ shoulder, and she felt cold inside.
His strange touch felt vaguely familiar. She hoped that he couldn’t feel her heart pounding through her chest. As though they had experienced this moment before. She had to find out more about Jack’s history.
Uma was flattered and agreed to let him post her pictures on his Instagram. They exchanged contact information before they parted ways.
Days went by, and Uma started following Jack's Instagram page, where she saw her pictures being posted. She was surprised by the number of likes and comments they were getting.
People were praising her natural beauty and Jack's photography skills. But Uma wasn’t just looking at her pictures; she was looking for other photographs or clues to Jack’s real life.
The skeptical girl couldn’t find anything incriminating about Jack, the photographer. Maybe she was being paranoid as she usually was. It was as though she couldn’t trust anybody.
Uma started to feel like she was a part of something special, something beautiful. She felt like she was being seen in a way she never had before.
A Change Of Heart
She started to look forward to the train rides home, hoping to see Jack again and take more pictures. Jack was the real deal. He genuinely cared for Uma, and one day he actually called her his “muse.”
And eventually, Jack and Uma became friends, often going on photography excursions together and creating beautiful art.
An Old Memory
One day, Jack brought up the fact that he had noticed Uma from the first time they met 12 years ago. Uma was shocked, she couldn't remember ever meeting Jack before, but he seemed familiar.
He reiterated the day 12 years ago in the same train station. Uma didn’t remember meeting Jack, but she did remember how she felt that day. It seemed to be a gift he had.
A Past Connection
Jack told her they had met at a photography exhibition where he had taken her picture and that he had never forgotten her. That day she has seen one of the most beautiful pieces of art that touched her soul.
She cried, and a passerby gave her a packet of tissues. That passerby was younger, Jack. Uma was touched by his words and felt a connection with him.
An Unusual Love
As the months passed, their friendship deepened and eventually became something more. Uma and Jack started dating, and they were happy together.
Jack's pictures helped Uma see herself in a different light. She wanted to be that woman she saw, that Jack made her. They took a chance at their love and found a lifetime of happiness.
To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.