I was feeling really frustrated about my lack of time to write this morning. Then Youngest kindly decided to have a nap. I set myself the challenge to write a short story in an hour and this is the result:
I sit, pretending to look out of the window, as the bus drifts forward. I feel beads of perspiration on the back of my neck. I can’t understand why no-one else on the bus has noticed the sound of my heart, as it is beating so loud. Thud, thud, thud, is all I can hear.
I smooth my skirt and feel my pulse quicken as the driver applies the brake. Today could be the day. I can barely breathe as the doors hiss open and a group of noisy people climb aboard. Chatting, knocking people with bags and apologising, then finding seats.
None of this registers on my radar as I am only focussing on you. I glance up as you approach. Your eyes burn me as you look my way and then you walk past. I exhale as the disappointment seeps through me, but I am certain that this is only because your friend wants to talk to you, and the back of the bus is empty. Perhaps you will sit next to me on the way home. A bittersweet smile crosses my lips as the warmth of your gaze stays with me for a while.
I think of my friend, Jenny. She is constantly talking about this boy that she likes at her swimming class. She is pathetic. She thinks that he will fall in love with her, and that they will live happily ever after, or something like that. It’s all a big dream, and maybe she will realise this one day, as I get so bored of hearing about him.
It’s not like that for us, is it Jack? We were born to be together. I cherish the times we do sit together. You lean towards the back of the bus and pretend to talk to your friends, while all along we both know that our time together is precious. The best times are when you read your book and lean towards me as we go around the corners. Subtle, but I know we both enjoy those times. I feel the pressure of your thigh, pressed tight against mine, long after we get off the bus. Sometimes you even drop your books, right near me. I pick them up and hand them to you, and the touch of you, as your fingers brush mine, sends electric shocks through me. We are so good together.
Today though, you are deep in conversation with Joe. I try and listen in, but the constant hubbub on the bus drowns you out. I gaze through the steamy window as the bus takes us to the inevitable reality of school.
As the bus stops at our final destination, we all pile off and walk towards the school gates. Maybe after school, the bus will be busy and you will sit near me. I hope so, as it’s been a while and you know how good we are together.
You walk off, without another look in my direction. I don’t know why you have to treat me like this in public. It’s stupid really, when I know we are meant to be.
I meet up with Jenny and we both simultaneously roll our eyes. “Nothing to report,” I say, and we sigh in unison. But soon, I am sure, there will be. I watch you disappear into the swarming mass of people, perfectly clueless.