“I married my train crush”
After a 10 month-long infatuation, Zoe Folbigg, 41, wrote her fellow passenger a love note…
I’ve been married I now for eight years and have two children, Felix, seven, and Max, five. And every day I feel incredibly lucky. The way I met my husband Mark is so unusual, I still find it hard to believe.
I fell in love with him on my commute – the 8.21am train from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, to London’s King’s Cross.
For four years, I’d made the same journey to my job at a magazine, sitting in silence surrounded by commuters, longing for the journey to end.
But in July 2003, my commute became the highlight of my day. That was when I set eyes on “Train Man”.
He was walking down the platform and I thought he was unbelievably handsome. He had olive skin, dark hair and deep brown eyes and looked about the same age as me. He didn’t notice me, but I fell in love there and then.
I was only 27 and I was happily single, with no huge desire to settle down. But even so, I got into the office and told everyone about Train Man. And from that day on I always sat in the same carriage as him and made sure I looked my best. But he never so much as looked in my direction. One day, I dropped my ticket at his feet to see if that might spark conversation, but he just politely handed it back.
In the end, it was my friend who persuaded me to make contact, reminding me that life was short.
So I decided to go for it and handed him a note. It took ages to compose the few short sentences, “It’s my birthday today and everyone should do something frivolous. So I’d like to invite you for a drink”. I signed it off with my email address.
It took 11 days to pluck up the courage as I was so nervous. I gave him the note, saying, “Excuse me, please can I give you this?” Then walked away
He did reply, but only to say he had a girlfriend. I was crushed. We still caught the same train and would exchange the odd smile, but I tried to forget about him and even went on a few dates with other people.
Then, eight months later, in January 2005, I got another email from him. He’d split with his girlfriend and wondered if I still fancied going for a drink.
I replied immediately and on 29 January 2005, we had our first date in a local pub. We talked for hours about everything and anything. I was 28 at the time – he was 29 and worked in marketing. He admitted he’d noticed me on the train, too.
Days later, we were barely apart and he moved in with me after three months. We’ve been together ever since.
In 2008, we quit work to travel and he proposed, appropriately, on a train in Australia. We married in April 2009 and our first son, Felix, was a honeymoon baby. Max followed a year later.
It’s now 14 years since I first set eyes on Train Man. I work as a writer from home in Hitchin while Mark commutes to his job creating websites. I’m not going to pretend we don’t have our moments – but I’m so happy with Mark. We still have the note and plan to frame it for our sons.
❛HE PROPOSED, APPROPRIATELY, ON A TRAIN IN AUSTRALIA WHILE WE WERE TRAVELLING❜
Zoe’s written a book about her romance, called The Note (£7.99, Aria Fiction)