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It was a sunny, cloudless day with the wind blowing just enough to make the leaves whisper softly. I was at the bus stop by school, waiting impatiently and just wanting to get home after such a long, boring day.
And then my dark brown eyes landed on him. I slowly took in his light brown hair and his enchanting green eyes, his lightly tanned skin and his overall appearance. Intrigued, I continued to stare at this creature, unable to look away.
I felt my curiosity stir as I continued staring rudely. The wind gently blew my hair into my eyes, bringing me out of my thoughts. Annoyed, I pulled my hair into a bun just as the bus pulled to a stop in front of me. Sighing, I regretfully stood, getting on the bus with a backward, lingering glace. Who knew if I was ever going to see the boy again?
I made my way towards the middle, sinking down onto an empty seat, my impatience returning. Why was it taking everyone so long to get on the bus?
Slowly, one by one the bus filled and the line shortened.
And then the green eyed boy got on.
My eyes immediately went to him, all my exhaustion, annoyance, and impatience fading away yet again. He looked around, his eyes landing on me for a brief second before moving on. And then he dropped his gaze, staring at his shoes.
Trying not to stare, I also looked around, observing. I stared at the girl in the bright yellow tee-shirt who was writing peacefully in her notebook, a look on concentration imprinted on her features. Too boring, I thought, moving my gaze to a middle-aged man eating a sandwich.
Ew, I thought, scrunching my nose at his disgusting eating habits. And so I quickly went through observing everyone, always finding some reason to move to the next person before going back to the boy.
Once we reached to the second to last stop, the boy made his way to the front, by the door. He glanced around once just as the bus stopped, a small smile playing on his lips. He said a quick thank you to the bus driver in a soft, musical voice before hurrying off the bus, fidgeting with the strap of his book bag.
There was something about him, something so pure and… happy, it just pulled you to him.
Thoughtful, I turned to stare out the window as the bus started moving again. As I distractedly looked at the beautiful scenery, I suddenly realized something.
Why hadn’t I spoken to him?
It wasn’t like he was on the bus with someone so it wasn’t like I was going to interrupt a conversation or anything.
And besides, what were the chances of me seeing him again? What’s the worst that could’ve happened? I’d be embarrassed? Somehow I was sure I’d survive.
Mentally smacking myself, I got off the bus at the last stop before slowly making my way home.
The next day, I saw the boy again. However, this time I got a fleeting glimpse of him as my friends and I left the cafeteria. I pushed my way through the crowd, trying to find him again.
But he was gone.
I was in an unpleasant mood for the rest of the day, snappy and irritable.
The school day passed by slower than usual, torturing me.
Feeling strangely hopeful, I walked to the bus stop, chastising myself for hoping I’d see him again. I was practically becoming a stalker.
When I approached the bus stop, my eyes immediately went to him. He was smiling for some reason. He seemed in such high spirits, I wanted nothing more than to go talk to him. But I wouldn’t, I knew that much. I momentarily wondered how and why he had this power to pull people so easily to him, but then realized he always seemed to be completely alone. Was it only me he had this power over?
How did other people not feel it?
And so for the next several months, I saw this blissful boy everyday and rode the same bus with him, giving the nameless boy my undivided attention for those forty minutes. And every day, just before stepping off the bus, he’d glance around, that same little smile on his face, as though hoping it would make someone having a bad day feel better.
I barely ever saw him at school expect for during lunch, when he sat in the middle of a crowded room completely alone. And even then, he was happy, you could tell just by glancing at him. The small tilt of the lips, the shine in his eyes. Just a glance was all it took to be captivated.
And then one day, when I was running a little late and just barely made the bus, he was sad.
I’d ran onto the bus just before it left and quickly got a seat. As soon as I’d situated myself, my eyes began looking around for him on their own accord. They instantly widened once they finally landed on him. His lips were tilted in a frown, and his eyes, his beautiful, expressive eyes were tortured.
He looked up for a moment, locking his gaze with mine. It was a second, that’s all, but that’s all it took. I flinched at the pain I saw, gasping in surprise. How could someone so… untainted look so tortured?
Not seeming to register my reaction, he looked away again, gazing out the window.
I watched his reflection, frowning. I wanted to talk to him, to ask what was wrong.
By the time I finally worked up the courage to, we’d arrived at his stop.
He didn’t glance around or smile before walking off the bus that day.
I didn’t see him after that for a whole week. I tried to tell myself he was fine and that it wasn’t any of my business, but I couldn’t help but wonder.
What if I had spoken to him that day? What if something was truly very wrong? What if a simple hello might have made him smile? What if the acknowledgement of his existence would have made him feel better, if only a little?
There was so many what if’s, if only’s, so many possibilities. And I’d rejected them all just by not doing anything.
Who would’ve thought one simple action would cause so much distress?
A few days later, he suddenly appeared at the bus stop after school. He hadn’t been at lunch, I’d been sure of that, I had been looking for him every day…
Shaking it off, I smiled, just happy that he was back. While waiting for the bus, I stared at him, not able to get enough of him after not seeing him for a whole week. I couldn’t help but notice how there was something off about him, how some of his happiness had almost seemed to evaporate.
Fidgeting with a loose thread on my jeans, I tried to make myself take a step forward in his direction. When I finally took that one step, the bus arrived. I bit my lip, huffing in annoyance. Why did it seem that the timing was always so terribly wrong?
We both got on the bus with a handful of other people, just like we did every day.
He sat towards the front today, for a change. I hesitated; I had to walk past him to get to my regular seat. What if I tripped? What if I—I shook my head, and forced myself to carefully walk forward. As I walked past him, I kept glancing at him from the corner of my eye, unable to help myself.
After what seemed like forever, I made it to my seat and sat, proud of myself. But just as the bus pulled away from the stop, I looked to where the boy sat and saw the seat beside him empty.
Before I could think or over think anything, I stood, walking over to the empty seat. I sat down, tilting my body towards the boy and shot him a hesitant smile.