As he sat on the only free seat, close to a young foreign-looking woman, in the first carriage of the 9 o’clock metro train, he did get a glimpse into the book that girl was reading. It was Proust’s ‘Albertine Gone’, quite an intense read for a peak-hour commute. Attracted by the smirk on her oval face, he scrutinised her, aware of the risk of being caught. Her spidery lashes, berry-stained lips, and voluminous strands reminded him of the women he’d seen on the covers of the old magazines his mother liked to collect. All of a sudden, his nose started bleeding, drawing unwanted attention. Without uttering a word, she reached into her purse and kindly offered him an embroidered handkerchief. As our protagonist brought the hanky near his nose, the fresh inebriating smell of pepper, rose and bergamot enveloped him. Then a rusty voice announced the Bir-Hakeim stop and, before he could realise it, she’d already disappeared, leaving no time for pleasantries. Our very protagonist imagined that girl leaving the Art Nouveau station, and he promised to himself that he’d always remember Albertine, the girl he fell in love with on the Paris metro.