Bright Lights – story

I take the 8:43 bus to work every morning. It’s the same bus each day, the same driver, same people, I even take the same seat. The people who wait for the bus at my stop, are the same as well. Once I’m on the bus, I quietly observe as the monotony unfolds. There’s an old man who greets me every morning, a kid who gets on at my stop and hopes that his friend gets in at the next stop, the kid’s friend who’s always running late and is seen sprinting across the road towards the bus, every single day! A pretty girl who sits across me and never once moves her gaze away from the phone, and an old lady who wouldn’t sit next to me even if the bus is full. These people right here, are my daily companions on the bus journey to work; well on the first part of my journey actually. Then the bus stops, and I’ve to run two hundred meters in 3 minutes if I want to catch the connecting bus, and hope not to die of a heart attack doing this. The next bus is pretty dull, it fills up quickly and once it does, every human on the bus looks down at the bright lights in their palms, and never once looks up. But yesterday, everything changed! There was a girl, looked around 25, she was tall and had a slender form, she wore black jeans and a blue sweater, her glasses made her look like an owl. She held a black handbag, her hair was brown and was tied up like a fountain. She didn’t have earphones plugged into her ears, didn’t look once at her phone. I thought she didn’t even have a phone. She just stared at the different faces consumed by bright lights. As my stop arrived, I thought to myself ‘what a beautiful day it has been’ and prepared to get off, and something unexpected happened. The pretty girl reached into her coat pocket and pulled out one of the bright light devices, plugged in her earphones, and in an instant she too was gone. I didn’t even know her name, yet I felt sad as I got off the bus; plugged in my earphones and started walking, looking at the bright lights in my palm.