The 3 o'clock Bus

May 20, 2009
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The 3 o’clock bus was crowded. It was Monday. Next to me was a single mother with two children, both of which were crying. Enclosed in the limited space of the bus, I couldn’t wait to arrive to my destination and leave the swarming mess. But as I examined the young lady, I suddenly noticed the black and blue marks on her neck and the scabbed-over scratch on her head. Wondering if I should make an effort to ask what had happened, I decided to hold back. It wasn’t my business, I told myself.
As the bus arrived to my stop, I stood up, her children and she stood too. I helped carry the stroller off. She said “Thank you.” I was on my way. My day was busy; I had a meeting to get to.
I couldn’t help but wonder where the lady was off to and what her day would be like. But I knew that the scars left on her neck and face had shaped who she had become. Helpless, depressed, empty. I wondered if someone had loved her. Did her personality reflect the bruises and tired hopeless look on her face?

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