3

2

Out and about

The sun on her back was comforting. She needed that. The man in front of her adjusted his leather satchel across his body and shuffled forward. Kathleen looked up, E68 City. She stepped towards the driver who looked out the window. She gazed into the almost full seats. "Where you going?" The driver was looking at her standing in the doorway. Her bag slipped off her shoulder as a man in a suit squeezed past sighing loudly as he jammed his ticket into a green box.

"Errr.. City...please" she managed.

"3.20" She dumped a handful of coins into his open palm, the faces were now looking up, in her direction. Taking her ticket she sat down quickly. What had first seemed like silence was now a mix of "st...st..stttttuh..stttt" and "sppp...sssss.sppppp" she couldn't quite recognize any of it, just a mix of tapping and hissing.

Aaaaaaatisssho! A loud sneeze and a cough, that she knew. Kathleen looked over her shoulder, white wires into almost very ear. No talking, was there a sign? Did she miss it?

"Yep, on the bus now, about 10, see you then".

Heads jolted up from their hung over positions looking in the direction of the voice, others were motionless.

Click, click, click, click, clicketty click, the woman's grey fingernail tapped a tiny screen which rested on her back pack. "So sorry about the email that was sent" was all she could read before pretending to be looking at the black and white screen behind the driver. The picture flickered. The back door came into view, a teenager leaning against the yellow pole, thumb rapidly pressing the object in his hand. More flickering, more expressionless faces on the screen. Chins tucked in, no eye contact just sssttt stttttt, hissing and clicking.

The bus stopped, doors opened, some shuffling as a few stood to make way for a pram. The little girl refused to sit and stood by her father's knee. The bus lurched forward. The girl brushed the curls from her face, tucked her elbows into her waist, them moved her arms back and forward.

"The wheels on the bus, go round and round, round and round, round and round." Her shrill toddler voice cut through the silence. Kathleen looked at the sunlight across the girls face. Kathleen had been 'away' for all those years, life had changed.

The little girl was bending her knees "the people on the bus go up and down, up and down"... Kathleen smiled and felt happy for the first time in a long while.

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.