It was the time in between that the man hated the most. The waiting was when he worried about everything: why was he doing this? Was he running late? What would it be like when he got there?
These were the questions the man couldn’t answer as he waited at the bus stop. If only he could just get on the bus, he thought, everything would be fine. He could leave his questions behind. He decided to ride the bus for longer than he ever had before.
As the bus completed its loop, passing by his house yet again, the thought of sleeping in his bed crossed his mind. He pulled the yellow cord and the red “stop requested” light flashed at the front of the bus. He stood to walk through the open bus door but found that he couldn’t. Something held him in place. An older man angrily pushed past him.
The door closed and the bus continued on its route. The man walked back to his seat and as the next stop neared, again he pulled the yellow cord. Again the door was impossible to walk through. He wasn’t confused or upset; he sat down with a feeling of acceptance. At least he was going somewhere. He rode the bus well into the night.
“It’s the end of the line, you have to get off the bus,” the driver eventually said.
“I can’t,” replied the man.
The driver nodded. He understood as well as anyone how a person could become stuck on a bus. He left the man alone and walked off into the evening to find the car that would take him back to his family.
The next day would become the same as many others for the man. Each day he awoke to the bus starting the same route over again and each day he grew more used to it. Living on the bus had its perks. He found that hunger was easy to forget when he lived so much of his life inside his own head. During the day he met plenty of people, though every conversation was cut short when it couldn’t continue past the bus door. During the night he was stuck with only himself.
No so long ago the man couldn’t wait for bus rides to be over. Particularly when he was going to see her. He thought he’d never forget the first time he travelled to that strange new place and saw her through the glass in the waiting area. He wondered why the bus trips between them had grown so long.
By: Nolan Matthews