Sunday, April 8, 2012

Babe on a Bus by Demetra Fisher

It was after five on a Friday and I was beat. I couldn’t wait to get home. My buddies
had tried all day long on the cell to talk me into going out with them but I just couldn’t. I
was just too tired. Plus I had to get up early for my Saturday morning shift. That was the
capper. I knew there was no way I'd be able to keep my eyes open tomorrow and my
boss would have my ass if I dragged it. So, instead I was homeward bound.

I punched out and grabbed my backpack and Windbreaker and headed out the door to
catch my bus. With any luck, I would be home by six thirty, just in time to watch the end
of the weekly MTV countdown. Sweet.

Hopping on the crowded bus, I couldn’t help but notice a gorgeous girl sitting next to
the window. The seat next to her was empty but just as I snaked over to grab it, someone
else got there first. Damn! Just my luck.

I was able to find a seat on the opposite side directly across from her, so I could still try
and sneak a couple looks at her from time to time, which was better than nothing, I
supposed. She sure was pretty. Blond hair, pale skin, pink cheeks. I wondered if she
were a model. She was definitely pretty enough to be. Too bad that old, bald guy gets to
sit next to her, I thought. What a waste.

l settled in as the bus took off. After a couple stops, I realized that the old, bald guy
was now gathering up his things, looking like he was gonna get off soon. Wow! Maybe
now l could sneak a few looks in her direction. I was starting to get excited, thinking
about the opportunity to watch her a little more closely. But then I noticed she didn’t
look too happy. In fact, she looked like she might start crying. I wondered why when all
of a sudden, she looked up at me. Our eyes locked and I just couldn’t help it. . .I stared.
She really was beautiful, even though she looked upset. It didn’t hurt her looks any
though, that’s for sure.

I couldn’t look away. I tried, I really did but somehow, I just couldn’t. I had never
seen anyone so pretty. Even movie stars weren’t as pretty as she was. Eventually, she
looked the other way, out her window, and I finally managed to start breathing normal

I kept wondering about her, though. I wondered all kinds of things. Like, why was she
upset? Had her boyfriend broken up with her and she was missing him? Or maybe her
dad was pissed off at something she’d done? I don’t know why but I started making up
stories about why she looked like she was about to cry. The stories all made sense in a
way, although some of them were a little far-fetched. Didn’t matter. . .I was convinced
that I could figure out what was bothering her simply by watching her.

Why not just ask her? Simple.. .too scared. I know, I know. Nothing ventured,
nothing gained, right? Well, I was just plain chicken to talk to her. Now, I’m not
normally the shy type, but jeeze, she was so pretty. Yeah, I know, I’ve said that already.
But, it was true. And guys like me, average guys like me, that is, get all tongue-tied
around really, really pretty girls. lt’s a fact.

So, there I was, just sitting there, thinking about why she was upset, when all of a
sudden, it hit me. That guy.. .the old, bald guy! He must have made a move on her or
something! That was it! And she got upset because he said or did something icky.
Goddamn, that sure is disgusting, I remember thinking, and rightly so. Suddenly, I was
so filled with rage, I got hot all over. I knew that my forehead must be sweating, ‘cause I
figured out that my temperature must have shot up about ten degrees, I was so mad!

She didn’t deserve this. I looked over at her and she was still looking upset, but she
didn’t look like she was about to cry anymore and her hands weren’t shaking like before
either. So, I guess she had calmed down some. I was glad. Glad that she wasn’t that
upset anymore. But, I knew it was only ‘cause that creep had gotten off the bus.

My stop was coming up and I started to panic. I didn’t feel right, leaving her like that.
Even though we hadn’t spoken a single word to each other, I felt.. .I don’t know,
responsible for her, somehow. I couldn’t just leave her, could I?

I glanced over to her and saw that she was buttoning up her jacket, getting ready to get
off the bus. My heart started to pound as I realized that we were getting off at the same
stop! Maybe now, I would have a chance to talk to her. If I could find the courage, that

We got up at almost the same time. She looked up at me again and this time I smiled at
her. She smiled back a little in return and then she looked down at the floor of the bus,
like she was embarrassed or something. I waited to let her go ahead of me and once she
realized what I was doing, she moved in front of me toward the door. The bus creaked to
a stop and the door opened. She headed down the stairs to the street, me right behind

I was gathering up my courage to say something to her when I realized that someone
was meeting her. A guy. Probably her boyfriend, I thought. So much for her needing
my help. Oh well. .. It was just as well, I thought. She wouldn’t ever see anything in me
anyway. I’m just an average kind of guy. Not good enough for her. My thoughts drifted
away from her and the guy she was with as I had my own little pity party.

“It was awful”, she was saying to the guy. “He was the creepiest! And then when he

asked me if I wanted ...”, she couldn’t finish.

“Have you ever seen him before‘?”, the guy asked her. “On the bus? Can you tell me
what he looked like, babe?

She shook her head. “It all happened so fast”, she said. “I can’t remember what he
looked like”.

I turned and headed back toward her and the guy she was with. I told them what he
looked like and that I had seen him ride the bus sometimes in the afternoons.

The guy thanked me and well, she smiled the prettiest smile of thanks I’ve ever seen.

As I walked home from the bus stop, it suddenly hit me that I had been right. The story
I had “made up” about her had been true! And I knew what I somehow had known all
along. Ever since I was a boy.

I was psychic.


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