Riding The Bus
I walk over and stand amongst the crowd of students, where I will usually recognize the faces of people who have been riding the same bus as me during the semester. Sometimes I wonder how you can spend such a cumulative amount of time so close to someone where you begin to recognize their outfits, remember the scent of cologne or perfume they wear, what seats the usually prefer to sit in, and so on as you idly go to and from campus together. But after all that time spent so close, and learning so much, when they’re no longer there riding the bus you realize you didn’t know that person at all.
Like zombies we all stood there, blankly staring forward until another bus pulls through, looking up only when one comes to sight hoping it’s the right one. As the buses came and went I heard the faint roar of thunder beginning in the distance, I love the rain. I could not wait to get off campus so I could enjoy the storm in the comfort of my house. My bus finally arrived, and eagerly I boarded knowing as soon as I got home rain was sure to start falling.
As a wave of students flooded onto the bus with me, in a frenzied scramble every seat was filling fast. This was not uncommon, and every instance I’d seen this happen I noticed the single seat facing the opposite direction in the middle is always the last to be taken. I suppose no one wants to constantly have to look at another passenger, but I’ll never be the one who has to stand. So quite often this is my place to sit on the bus facing a multitude of different passengers each time.
After sitting in the same spot so often staring at so many different people they become faceless to me as soon as I get off. But on this day, with seemingly nothing able to deter my attention from the storm, she sat across from me. After my first glance at her, I suddenly was no longer thinking about the rain.
I had on a grey hoodie over a white long-sleeved shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans. She had on a red skirt and a vintage black t-shirt. We both had our headphones in. I guess we still do.
I had got on the same bus at the same at the same time every week, but I realized I had never sat across from her before. As the bus closed the doors and began to leave, she happened to look up at the same time as me and we briefly made eye contact. I fell in love with her a little bit, in love like where you create the ideal version of the person you’re looking at in your thoughts, and then proceed to fall in love with them. I still think there was a connection made.
As minutes passed we continued to catch each other gazing into the other’s eyes, only for single moments as one of us would quickly look away. I sat on the bus endlessly listening to music, almost never speaking a word for all the time I’ve spent on it. But I knew today had to be different, I had to say something to her. I tried to think of anything to say – maybe pretend I didn’t usually take the bus and was not necessarily sure where I was...