In the Middle of the Bus

In the Middle of the Bus

by Elizabeth Challinor

You're pathetic!

I hate you!

I looked up in surprise

She averted her eyes


No sign of a phone

Nobody beside her

The bus arrived at my stop

I got off

And forgot

Until I heard her again

Days later

Behind me

I could not turn to look

But I knew who

She was talking to

I wanted to reach out

I know what it's like!

But a stranger

On a bus?

No chance of that!

So I sat

Imprisoned in indifference

Until I reached my stop

Got off

And got on again

And sat next to her

Days later

This time not a word

We approached my stop

I stood up

Placed a book

On my seat

Turned my back

And got off

And got on again

Weeks later

The bus is full

Nowhere to sit

I stand and look

Where is she?

I cast a shy glance

Across rows of anonymity


A face shines back

Eyes alight

I want to shout out

I know!

Isn't it great!

She knows

She smiles

We know

And the bus goes rumbling on

Elizabeth Challinor