A character driven story that must take place at a bus stop.
I sprinted toward the bus through the lightly people peppered street. The door closed. Gray puffs of smoke spewed into the overcast sky just as I skidded into the bus stop. The white-blue bus pulled off – without me.
“Damn!” I slid my backpack off my shoulders and sat down under the glass and steel covering. The steel bench was cold against my jeans. The bus stop was enclosed on three sides with the opening facing where the bus pulled up. I had taken the metro from Logan Airport, but it only went so far and I needed to take the bus to finish my long journey.
A young man popped out from the right side of the bus stop. I guess I didn’t notice him before because he was covered by the bus schedules. He was about my age with moppy brown hair that teased his brow. His eyes were hazel, soft and kind.
“Well, Miss, the next number seven bus will be here in thirty minutes.”
I lunged into the backpack that was at my feet and felt around
for my cell phone.
“So, ah, Miss, late for Thanksgiving dinner?”
I pulled the cell phone out of my bag. Dead. I threw it back in and slumped my shoulders. Heck, I suppose I should be happy they even ran buses here in Boston on Thanksgiving. D-Man slid onto the bench next to me. It was then I noticed he wore blue jeans and a “Boston College” hoodie. The temperature must have been in the fifties. He had to have been chilly in his get-up. I know I was in mine and I was wearing a winter coat.
“Late?” I said. I was upset, and while I didn’t feel like concentrating on what he was saying, I knew it would help if I distracted myself. “Ah, yeah, I am.”
He didn’t say anything else. My eyes searched out my surroundings. I was near the Museum of Science, not far away from the Charles River. I needed to catch the number seven bus to the North End. Grandma was having Thanksgiving dinner at her house. I hadn’t seen her in three years since I went to USC for college. It was then I really noticed him. His kind eyes sympathized with my plight.
“I’m, ah, sorry. What did you say your name was?”
I held out my hand. “Sabrina Braxton.”
“Nice to meet you, Sabrina.”
Restless, I stood up and leaned against the metal frame of the bus stop, re-wrapping my scarf around my neck.
“Has it snowed it yet?” I asked.
“It’s cold enough to, but it hasn’t yet.”
“Boston College had a great year,” I said.
“Football. They finished number two in the BCS.”
“You know your football.”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I have to. I’m a cheerleader for USC. It’s a big football college in the Pac Ten.”
“Yes, it is. Your accent has softened a little, but you’re from here, aren’t you. The North End?”
“Yeah, I am. My grandma’s having Thanksgiving dinner at her house. She was going to start serving at two and I really wanted to be there on time.”
“Well, you had a long journey from California.”
“But this is my grandma. Every
Darrin cocked an eyebrow. The number twenty-four bus arrived, dropped off a passenger and sped off. I drew in a breath. It might be good to talk to someone – anyone – about my worries.
“Every second counts because I just recently found out she’s got breast cancer.”
He nodded his head. “I’m sorry.”
“She was always there for me, you know, inspiring a little girl to reach for her dreams. She made me believe I could. When I got selected for USC, it was a dream come true , but I’ve missed three years with her. I don’t want to miss anymore. This just might be my last Thanksgiving with her.”
Darrin walked up to me and wrapped his arms around me. I felt a wave of sweet release in that moment. I hugged him back. It felt good to confide in someone, even if I barely knew him.
A bus pulled up, dropped off, waited a second, and pulled off.
Darrin let out a small breath. I could see it float in the cold air.
“Patience,” he whispered.
I mimicked his earlier gesture and cocked an eyebrow, curious as to his sad expression.
“I’ve learned you need patience in life, Sabrina, in everything you do. You may want to rush the moment, rush to see your grandma, but say you do. Say you rush it and the bus gets in an accident and you’re delayed in seeing your grandmother. Then you’ll get more upset and all you’ve done is wasted time. Have patience, and when you see her again, savor the moment. It was worth the wait.”
I nodded my head. He’d spoken his words so reverently, so passionately. “Are you speaking from experience?”
He nodded his head, and bit his lip. “If I’d been just a little bit patient I would probably would have had a chance to see my grandmother before she died.”
There were no tears in his eyes, but his sadness touched a deep chord in his voice. The number seven bus pulled up and I grabbed my bag off the cement floor, racing for the door. It swung open. I paused, and spun around, my foot on the first step of the bus. “Darrin! What about your bus?”
“I missed it, talking to you.”
I reached out and squeezed his hand, looking directly into his sensitive eyes. “Why?”
“I have patience,” he whispered.
“Come on, Miss,” barked the driver.
I raced up the bus steps, popped a token in the meter, and the doors wheezed shut. I took a seat near the window. My eyes cut to Darrin who stood here, his hands in his hoodie pocket, smiling. He’d shared his story with me, hoping it would make a difference and I promised myself it would.