Ride Home (Shorty Short)

I.

Darkness has marred the once bright sky. The road, outlined with streetlights, passers-by, and congested traffic, was  where the bus was  sitting, waiting for the lights to go green. Inside the bus, comforted by the empty seat beside her, was a lonely stranger, oblivious to the world outside. She did not mind being alone, but under a calm and tranquil face, something shook and troubled her inside Рa longing not one soul has understood. She shifted her position and nonchalantly laid her head against the window pane.

“Would it make a difference if this was his shoulder?” She absentmindedly thought.

She casually glanced at the unfamiliar faces to see if they had heard what she had thought. No one even bothered to look back at the curious eyes. The response was all too familiar – nobody cared. This was enough to send her back to a place only acknowledged by her. This world, in grateful return, only acknowledges her. It wouldn’t have had existed if it weren’t for her mind. Looking back again at the starless city night sky, she was readying herself for a grand entrance. It’s time to return to the place where she belonged. With a silent sigh, she slowly closed her eyes. Her soul hurriedly drifted with the wind of make-believe.

II.

Everything was still in its rightful place. The wind blew quietly over the beach where two friends, each with a secret, had met. Both of them are sitting contentedly beside each other under the canopy of a star-filled sky. Not a word or a sound was uttered, only the sound of the waves from a distance lingered in the cold December air.

“We should be here more often, don’t you think?” The woman was first to speak, adding more ease to the comfort they both felt. Her voice was filled with excitement that it encouraged her friend sitting beside her to gather the strength to say what he truly felt.

“I agree. I think we should stay here forever.” The man gently replied.

“Were you just confessing?” asked the woman, teasing her friend. All books and poems she’d read, written with words of affection and unwavering passion, have not been able to prepare her for the answer that came next.

“Yes. I was.” The man turned to look at his longtime companion. She was his best friend for many years. He knew this feeling was inevitable. At some point, he was bound to fall for her.

The woman, unable to move her lips, just sat there staring back for what seemed like a million light years. Her mind did not understand. No one has ever confessed their feelings to her before. This was the first time.

“I don’t understand. I…,” she stuttered at every word. “I–,” the stinging sound of a horn pierced into the peaceful night.

III.

Reality beckons. She quickly opened her eyes just in time to see beyond the window lies her final destination. She looked around as if time has frozen the people inside. They were still the same. Yet, they’ve become the familiar stranger. She stepped off the bus. As she was walking along, she traced every step on the way home and breathed in what seemed to be the air of life she had well-known throughout the years. She was used to the uncaring world, and she didn’t mind. Only one thing shook and troubled her inside – the longing not one soul has understood.

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