Bus Ride

December 15, 2013
Every day we sat side by side. We didn't talk. We didn't touch intentionally. We didn't even look at each other. But no matter what the day had been like, what either of us had gone through, we still sat there in silence. It was comforting to know that he would always be there, reading his book with his left leg crossed over his right. His brown pant leg hiked up above the ankle, displaying green argyle socks. I admired those socks. Sometimes his socks were red. But I liked the green ones best. They were bold in a subtle way, like him.

Even though I sat next to him on that old, rickety bus every day without fail, I never saw the bottom half of his face. I never thought it strange until one day as the bus was going along at its normal jarring speed, I realized that I did not know if he had a mustache or not. It is a strange thing to sit next to a person for weeks on end and not even know what their mouth looks like. He always held a book up to his face, only allowing the forest of gray eyebrows to peek over the top. If the bus bumped enough, you would catch a glimpse of his eyes. They were like bright little stars, peeking out from the heavy clouds of gray bush above them.

Once, when I had just boarded at the corner where the candy shop and meat market touch, I caught him glancing over his book at me. It shook me a up a bit to see those little blue stars looking directly at my face. He had never looked at me before that I could remember. Perhaps he had glanced at me once or twice on those long night rides back to the street corner where the meat market meets the candy shop, when I had fallen asleep with my head against his arm. It was unintentional and I was embarrassed when I awoke as the bus came to a jolting stop. But he made no motion of even recognizing the fact that I had drooled on his coat sleeve in my slumber. He just sat behind his book like he always had done.

What went on inside that old, gray head, I always wondered. Did he wonder about me ever?

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This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

JourneyWriter said...
Dec. 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm
Thanks Haley101! I will for sure read your pieces and comment away. :) 
haley101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 22, 2013 at 6:15 pm
I really loved that line, subtle in a bold way. It reminds me of my friend, with his severe honesty, the eglaic ruth and strength of his words. Like you and I, he's a writer. What you wrote here reminds me of his writing and my styles, and its so beautiful and raw, how you capture such intensity in glances and prosaic things. Well done. I would love some of your feedback on my pieces as well? Thanks so much for the great read.
Penn_Barod This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 21, 2013 at 9:56 am
I like it. You used some playfull discription here but kept it serious. It felt just like I was remembering something from my past that comforted me even though it wasn't necessarily a comforting thing in itself. I think you should make a series of short writings like this; sort of like episodes. Overall: I enjoyed it. It's a nice little story to read when you wake up. :)
JourneyWriter replied...
Dec. 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm
What do you mean by episodes? Should I keep the same characters?  Thanks for the feedback. It made me smile. I had no idea that people still read my stuff. I should get on here more. :) 
Penn_Barod This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 26, 2013 at 11:54 am
You can have the same character or not, just other stories like this centered around different things (like a bus ride in this one). That's just a suggestion. And yes people still read your stuff, at least I do. And yes you should get on more.
haley101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm
omg yes! I would love to read more of your work. it is so clear, unlike a lot of my pieces, and I really just love reading it. a lot of it is lyrical too. and yes, about the episodes, I'm doing that with one of my pieces, called "These Dark Corners" so that I can capture poignant events and not the ordinary gaps in between. An episode thing would be awesome here.  
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