I’d seen her every weekday for thirty-two years until yesterday, her long, messy hair streaked with gray,  her now wrinkled face flecked with freckles. She got on at the stop before me on the three fifteen bus down Main, transferred with me onto the four-oh-seven down Lark and got off just before the transfer to Quarry.

Once, I’d heard her name though I’d decided she was Stephanie; Steph to friends. Beyond a gentle smile or a wave, we’d never spoken a word to each other. Faces on the bus looked different without her, rides took longer.

She was back this morning and I waved her over to me. She smiled, puzzled. “My name is Fred Fehr. I get on a stop before you, and have noticed you everyday for thirty-two years. We’ve never spoke but, I didn’t see you yesterday? Why?”

She clutched her chest, aghast though it seemed in a good way. “I knew your name was Fred. Though I figured that was just for friends.”

I smiled and offered her the seat next to me. She took it and we caught up on thirty two years in thirty minutes. At the transfer, she took my hand in hers and smiled.

This was written entirely on a bus, on my Droid Eris. I started the moment the bus picked me up, and stopped at my exit.

This is 2 of 26.


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