They waved goodbye to one another, but not before they sung sweet lullabies. That was during the night, during the day they were adults, and they stepped quietly – politely past another. It was the middle of August, where the days were overcast, rain was constant, and fell like snow.
In the fog—the spindrift—the dusk, their breath was a mix of cloud and happiness, and they held hands in the cold.
That was well before then, of course. Before when she, Hope, was hesitant and a child. Beautiful and like anything beautiful, prideful and afraid. She was alone but brave.
Glasses over her eyes and hair braided back. She hid in her books and He? Well, he was different back then. Young of course, but dark? Fair?
I would be lying if I said he was – if there were any notable traits. Ordinary—with little friends – little traits and few things he aspired to be. He admired her from a distance – all alone. She played with her books, chew on her lips and her hair.
She was beautiful – she was going somewhere.
Him? He tagged along – a wishful fantasy where he tagged along.
They said their pleasantries to one another, morning brevities. Polite smiles that had little do with their motives or their eyes.
So their words faded until there were no words at all, but they travelled together each morning, together on the bus.
As years passed, Hope rose in seniority and middle-school school dress for a senior’s clothes. Her classmates envied her because she was beautiful – and consistently scored the top of her glass. It made her prideful, but it made her alone.
Him? He never graduated. Held back a year, then another before he decided to drop out.
Frustrated, he wanted to be there for her – to push her to success, so he modelled himself for hers. He worked as a cleaner, but on the bus, he wore her school colours, and as she grew into success, so did he.
When she was a senior, he dressed for college, and when she graduated, he wore his ties. She took notice of him of course – how could she not? They grew up with one another – on the bus – quiet and each alone. It was little wonder she began to imprint on him – the perceived modesty, the perceived success.
How did you do it?” She asked him. How did he balance his success with his happiness?
He remembered it was a full moon that night.
Do I tell the truth? Do I lie? He remembered thinking. It was the first time they had spoken of anything. He promised himself, it wasn’t going to be the last.
“A better question to ask would be why,” he said.
“Why then?” She pressed, “Why do you want to be successful.”
He didn’t lie when he said, because of you. “We’re on a bus together, but it’s not just a bus,” he said, “It’s our life. Wherever you’re going in this journey, in this life—I am too”.
It was the middle of August, where the days were overcast, rain was constant, and fell like snow. Their breath was a mix of cloud and happiness and that night, they held hands, for the first time– they got off the bus together.
I don’t take the bus, I take light rail, or the train – don’t take my word for it, but everyday, as I sit, and travel through life. I think of the people I surround myself with – I don’t want life to be just a happy memory. Every moment must be something to partake – to enjoy.
I sit next to people I don’t know and I ask them how is their day. I don’t want to be alone when I travel in life –
Eventually, strangers become recognisable.
They become acquaintances.
They become friends.
It’s a big leap of faith of course. Do you open yourself – do you trust? But if you can’t trust others and if you can’t trust in yourself, where are you headed in life? Take a moment to think about that.
What fiction have you crafted for yourself? Is it real? Do you believe it?
If not, perhaps the next stop is yours.
Where does that leave you in life?