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Short Story

Bus Girl Iran (short story)

I’m pretty sure I can see her eyes looking at me. The corner of her eyes meeting the corner of my eyes. We both look away without knowing the other saw.

I carefully move. I’m on a show. Add a little grace to the move of pinkie, a swirl as I open the zipper. Does she notice? I’ll try to look interesting. Look down the road past the front of the bus. Is there any interesting traffic? Probably not, I don’t remember. I was just trying to make sure I made a suitable post card. For sure she has noticed me.

I take out my ipod. Rummaging through my playlist, my hand at an awkward angle, that I hope looks somewhat natural. With her visibly watching, thnking I’m engrossed, I can see I captivate her. I go through my entire artist list, trying to appear both artistically selective, and non chalant. I wonder if she’s impressed by my music taste? I choose a song, and begin to study the scene around me. The bus driver trying so hard to get his sandwich out of his bag while we’re moving. Some girl clearly wearing to tight underwear talking about where the best place for ice cream after Christmas is. A man of maybe 40 I offend by offering him my seat. Sirens reflecting luminously off the glass next to the drivers head; I nearly leap out of my seat to see some sad spectacle; trying hard to look like the type of person who thinks he might be of some help, scouts the scene, then sits back and looks away, clearly not interested in watching the private scene of someone suffering.

I feel so romantic.

The girl asks if I know where Georgia is. I tell her where it is, and ask her where she’s going. She tells me she’s going home. The conversation starts, and she instigated. I guess this was backwards, me preening, her going for the cheesy line, but the conversation started.

We chit chat and bear our souls in the way that only the supremely confused are. She tells me she’s in economics and wants out. I tell her I’m in university and want out maybe. We don’t make eye contact. We both feel that maybe we’re telling to much. Change of topic to where she’s from (Iran), how miserable the weather is (horrible), and how long buses take (really long).

We’re on safe ground but not really sure we want to be. Her stop comes. We exchange names. We meet each others eyes almost, then her friend taps her on the shoulder, they walk off togethor, and I keep riding on the bus, and I don’t look back.

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