(Inspired greatly from a true story a friend told me )

“… Designer shades just to hide your face in… wear ‘em around like you’re cooler than me”

I softly sang along with Mike Posner playing on my earphones as I waited at the bus stop after college. I was so bored. The classes sucked, I nearly fell off the desk sleeping. Bah. I didn’t even want to think of it anymore. I started checking out the girl who stood nearby. She probably saw me staring and looked at me cross, I looked away relieved as I saw the familiar orange low floor quietly rolling in. As I got in, I paused at the door, turned around and stuck my tongue out at the girl as the bus started moving. She started to say something but by then the doors had closed. I wore a smirk on my face as I found a seat towards the back of the bus.

A notification tone informed me that my phone’s battery would reach empty in a few and hence I reluctantly packed away my earphones into my bag. I sat there staring through the window, Pissed at the boring forty five minutes ahead. I turned my attention to the passengers, might as well have some fun I thought to myself as I scanned for a target. The pass had its usual meagre amount of passengers and none of them was good enough to annoy.

“Pling”, I said out loud to myself and smiled as I saw a middle aged man enter the bus holding his five or six year old son’s hand. He would do. He was dressed simply and the kid’s shoes lit up as he walked. My smile grew wider as I heard him take tickets up until one stop before me. The cherry on top came was that of all the empty seats in the bus they chose to sit right in front of me.

I turned all my attention to them. The kid was looking around in wonder. He was visibly ecstatic. The father looked at him smiling. In fact he never took his eyes off the kid. Finally after  a minute or so the kid tried reaching for the a/c vent above him and finally pointed at it and asked his father, “daddy why doesn’t the buses at home have these holes with cold air?”

“That’s an a/c my dearest”, the father replied,” near home our buses have open windows don’t they? Only buses that have these huge windows get an a/c”

“Ha” I said just loud enough that I was sure the father would hear, “nobody’s gonna run an a/c bus in the village you’re from.” I stressed heavily on village. I waited patiently for a reaction but the only sound I could hear was the kid’s oohs and ahhs at his father’s explanations.

Next he was interested in the emergency hammer and then the emergency stop button, both of which his father explained quite beautifully. I half lost my mind to annoy him until I saw he held his son with a firm arm around him. He was running his hand through the boy’s short hair. He then asked his son for a kiss and the kid happily hugged him and planted one on his cheeks.

I started making kissing noises as he transferred the boy to his lap and hugged him again. I also laughed annoyingly every time he said anything to the kid. The boy looked at me confused every now and then, he was too young to understand but I was pretty sure his father did. No reaction. Whatever I did I got no reaction from the man, he didn’t even acknowledge my existence.

Bah I thought to myself as I gave up and walked to the door two stops before mine. A stupid habit of mine. In a few minutes the father and son joined me at the door. He still did not even look at me, now I was the one annoyed. As they got off the conductor and driver murmured something like “water…engine..” and exited the bus. The doors were left open, I couldn’t wait in the bus and I was just a stop away. I hopped out and started walking. I soon reached the auto stand and noticed that the guy and his son were getting in one. As I passed them I smirked at the father and said aloud crudely mimicking his son’s voice,” daddy why don’t we have three wheeled cycles near home?”

I didn’t stop there though I started making kissing sounds still looking at him. Still wearing my smirk. He looked at me for a few seconds. Stared with a sad sad smile on his face. He then turned to the driver and said, “Children’s Cancer care centre please.”


7 thoughts on “The Bus: A Short Story

  1. would have preferred the antagonist’s reaction and of course his attempt at an apology at least to salvage some sort of humaneness on his part rather than leaving it to the reader’s whim to guess his reaction

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