Saturday, 12 April 2008

Love on the Bus

Here's a little story by a mate of mine, Jaleefa Al-Khatib, who's too embarrassed to show her work to anyone, so I've stolen it and I'm posting it here:

Love on the Bus

It’s the least sexy place in the world. It’s six o clock, coal-black dark and the rain shows orange in the streetlights. It’s loud outside on the street. You’ve finished work, you’re tired, you’re hot and a bit sweaty. You get on the bus.

It’s busy, and the windows are steamed on the inside. It forces people together, to spend time with not enough social space.

Maybe every seat is taken except, inexplicably, one next to a really cute guy.

Was that a smile hello?

But there’s no legitimate way to start a conversation with the person sitting next to you. There’s no opening gambit that isn’t going to sound weird. So you clam up, stare at the window, half-watching the reflection of two similar people, holding hands.

You’re desperately close to a stranger you like. You’re so close your legs are almost touching, you can feel his gravitational pull. Static crackles between your limbs. You’re not allowed to speak. The slightest flinch. His hand moves closer for a brief second, then away. He presses STOP. The bus lurches to the left and the laws of physics bring you together.

Your stomach feels funny.

The driver hits the brakes and your bodies are synchronised in that forward-back motion. He stands up slowly, arching his back, giving you time to say something.

You…almost speak…

He disappears down the aisle, and he’s out of your life forever.