The Night Bus

It was an exhausting day in the office, and my mind thanked God that it’s Friday. I cancelled my usual Friday morning plan of hanging out and staying late after work and just decided to go home. Loser, I know, but it turned out to be a wise decision because thunder roared as soon as I took my seat inside the bus. It was a sound that promised heavy rainfall, flooded streets, and endless traffic. Still, thank God it’s Friday.

Lightning flashed and I rushed to plug in my earpods so I won’t hear the thunder that came after. I failed, of course, because one can never beat nature. I turned the volume up and immersed myself in the music while watching the rainfall from the other side of the window. I braced myself for a long, long night.

Minutes later a lady sat beside me. She was soaking, and guessing from the uniform she was wearing, a bank employee. I scooted closer to the window. Once she’s settled, she took her mobile phone out of her dripping shoulder bag and tapped a contact from the screen before putting the device next to her ear. I tried not to eavesdrop, but it was difficult because I was bored.

“I could not believe you stood me up!” She choked. Oops. I turned my iPod’s volume up another notch, deciding that it would be better to drown myself in my own world, no matter how boring it gets.

I must have dozed off. I glanced at my watch to check the time. It was eight o’clock in the evening. I’d been sitting in the bus for more than an hour, when under normal circumstances it would only take thirty minutes. By impulse, I turned to the lady beside me. The phone conversation was over, and she just sat with her face covered with the purple handkerchief in her hand. At first I thought she was sleeping, but then I saw her shoulders shake. She was crying.

Every other person in the bus was restless. From where I was sitting I could see them checking the time, and either shaking their heads or scratching them at the same time. From behind me I could hear a man calling his wife. “I’m in the bus, where else would I be? Are the children home?” And at the seat in front of me, someone just sneezed. From the far back a baby was crying. My iPod’s out of battery. Another lightning. Another thunder.

When I at last I was out of the bus, I sighed, both in relief and frustration. It was Friday night phase two—braving the flood.

~~

Writing 101: Death to Adverbs — Go to a local cafe, park, or public place and report on what you see. Write an adverb-free post.   

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