Bus Boy

8 01 2011

According to when I last modified this, I wrote this in 2009.  Contrary to what I say in the end, I don’t remember.  Hmm.

Bus Boy

I first saw him not at the video exchange but on the bus.  He sat next to the doors on the back, and I first noticed him through the spaces between the bars as I slowly walked into the interior of the vehicle.  His eyes were focused on something outside the window, as if seeking solitude, but the empty seat beside him said otherwise.  As my eyes stayed on him when I walked past, I yearned for him to look over at me, and just before passing, he did.  I can only describe him as absolutely beautiful, and I almost felt humbled in his presence.

 

I took a seat facing outside the window, perpendicular to him, so that I could observe him without being obvious.  He wore a grey-bluish t-shirt, jeans, Adidas sneakers with a backpack on his lap.  It was only when he reached up with him right hand to scratch his head that I noticed the hair on his arms and the tan on them too, slowly fading into his natural skin colour at an invisible line just below the sleeves of his t-shirt.  As he continued to stare out at the world, the fine facial hair on his cheeks down to his chin were inviting me to walk over and touch them, to spend my entire day brushing them with my face as we kissed.  He was so beautiful.

 

But then it began again.  That little voice in my head that everyone has, only mine is more pronounced than others because I listen to it.

 

“What’s the use?  He’s not going to notice you, and you’re too chicken shit to go over and talk to him, loser.  Pathetic.  Truly, pathetic.”

 

The words seeped into my mind despite my efforts to dig them out and throw them away.  It was the truth; I didn’t need a fortune teller to tell me this scene was going to play out the way it always did – with me thinking about him the entire day while I wallowed in sadness about how I had the chance but didn’t grab it.

 

Then the tears came.  But they never flow.  I didn’t allow them to, but they collected in my eyes, evidence that those hateful, truthful words meant something.

 

Suddenly, I felt a familiar stirring in my nose and sneezed.  He turned to my direction when I opened my eyes, and my mind jumped to conclusions that were beyond belief.  I wondered if he knew I was staring at him the whole time.  I could not read his face, so I assumed he was merely glancing over.

 

He finally turned his head again, but didn’t look back out the window.  He sat staring straight ahead, slightly angled in my direction, and this was all the proof my foolish, naïve mind needed to assume he had some attraction to me, or at least curiosity.  I could have smiled, but I didn’t think he would have noticed.

 

It was my stop.  I hated to leave, to leave him on that bus with that empty seat beside him, where I should have been, talking to him about recent movies, his favourite music, and where he was going.  I should have been there.  But I wasn’t.  Instead, I shouted a quick, “Thank you” to the bus driver before stepping off.  After a few paces, I looked back at the bus.  His head was turned in my direction again, but I couldn’t be certain he was looking at me.  I memorized his face like a blind man and Braille – every bump, curve, and wrinkle locked into my mind.  Still, my hopeful mind believed – believes that I will see that beautiful boy again, and that time, the empty seat next to him will be filled by me.


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