Words

73 Days [Fiction]

Seventy three days. That’s how long I’ve been watching you. I see you twice a day though, which means I have watched you one hundred and forty six times. Trust me when I say that I’m not being creepy at all. It’s just that we ride the same bus. Five days a week. Twice a day.

You have brown hair. I think its curly, but you always keep it combed and perfectly neat, so I can’t quite tell. I don’t know what color your eyes are, since I’ve never dared to look into them, but I imagine that they are a deep, rich brown with just a hint of green. I imagine that they sparkle when you laugh. Which makes me wonder what you look like when you laugh… I’ve only ever seen your smile, but that in itself is so welcoming.

Every time you step into the bus, you always have a kind word for the bus driver. I admire that. Most of the time, I don’t even have the courage to smile at someone, let alone talk to them. It makes me wonder how you can do that, because one of these days I would like to smile when you step into the bus and maybe offer you the seat beside me if its a busy day. But if I did that, then I would have to keep up some sort of polite small talk, and there is nothing in this entire world that I am worse at than polite small talk. It’s a disaster every time.

But perhaps you would prefer to be left alone anyways. I’m nobody, just someone who reads, or at least pretends to read, while riding the bus and can’t even make small talk, not even if my life depended on it.

The bus is full today when I step on board, even though mine is one of the first stops on the route. But there is still one empty row left and I take it. I pull my novel out of my bag and settle in to read, still aware of everyone around me. But, without my permission, the book becomes compelling and the world around me vanishes.

That is, until someone slips into the empty seat beside me. I look up and can’t help but smile because your eyes are brown, with just a hint of green.

You smile back and I feel a mix of anxiety and fear about what to do next. But you save me the trouble.

“I liked that book,” you say. “It helped me through some dark places in my life when I was a bit younger. What is it doing for you?”

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