To The Man on the Victoria Line,

Today, you sat opposite me on the train, as we travelled in similar directions to work. It was a typical rush hour commute in London: the train was packed with sweaty, impatient people and as I applied my makeup, you jabbed aimlessly at your phone.

I think you were in your twenties- like me- but apart from that, we looked worlds apart. I was in my Ugg boots, looking for a comfortable commute, hurriedly attempting to cover the dark circles under my eyes before I got to work; and you sat in a fitted suit, your shoes shining with perfect polish.

But then, at Kings Cross, something happened that we both could not avoid. A Muslim man came onto the train.

He wore a full kameez, a beard, a religious hat… and he completed this look with a large bag wrapped around his body.

The second he boarded the train, the carriage emptied. Every single person on our carriage got off- including commuters who had only just got on.

But you didn’t.

You were the only person who stayed on that carriage with me, once the Muslim man had got on. No one was scared of me, a person who follows the same religion. But everyone was terrified of him. Except you.

In fact, you smiled politely at him when he caught your eye, and continued jabbing aimlessly at your mobile phone, like you hadn’t even noticed what had just happened.

You looked beyond the attire which has been engraved into our minds as the costume of a monster, and saw the man for what he really was: an innocent commuter, just like you and I.

For the next few stops, you and I were exactly alike. We were the two people who refused to follow a blinded, poisoned population. We recognised that as these people stepped off for their safety, they were stepping into something that was far, far more dangerous.

And for that, I want to say thank you, Mr Man on the Victoria Line, for reassuring me that there are some people left- albeit only a few- who will stay on the carriage when we are on it. Whether the Muslim looks like me, or him.

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