Running for the bus, I must have caught her off-guard. I yelled her name just as she was about to get on. She turned around, her eyes searching for recognition of a face and found mine. She let out a smile, and we entered the bus together.
Seats were filled, all but in the back. Two seats, smack dab in the middle. We grabbed them making sure we gave each other enough space. Yet, somehow, I don’t think that’s what we wanted.
“Haven’t seen you lately, busy boy, huh?” She had this thing she did with her eyebrow. She peeled it forth, not so much as arching it, so much so that the motion propelled you to fall in love. Alright, so that’s being too forward. But you get what I mean.
“Yeah, first time in a week I get to go home before midnight. Need a job, need money, need to do this and that and this and that. Well, you know the drill. Just, uh, multiply that by two.” I winked at her when I spit out that last part.
Wait: Who is she? I don’t know. Seriously. I have her in a few of my classes, I think. I see her here and there and even sat next to her a few times. But, I guess, somehow, someway, some sort of a relationship formed between us. I only know her full name because I saw her on the class roll. I’m not exactly good at this stuff, it’s not what I do. Keeping track of my own life’s a challenge. But yeah, she caught my eye. My fancy. Whatever you call it. And it came down to this.
“What’re you reading there?” She peered over and noticed the orange-laced, purple book in my left hand. She was sitting on my right.
“Oh. Sputnik Sweetheart. Good stuff. Had to snipe out the library shelves for a week to snatch this baby. The author, he’s Japanese. My fav. This was the latest one to get translated, but since I’m a cheap bastard, I didn’t feel like buying the hardcover. Plus, hardcovers—they’re not the same. The feeling, it’s all wrong. You can’t curl up with a hardcover. Paperbacks are your friends. Alright, so that sounded mad weird. But you know what I mean.” Alright, so I babbled. Hope she didn’t notice?
“Hrm. Okay. What kind of story is it?” She seemed interested. Genuinely, possibly. I mean, she could have ended the conversation, right? Right.
“Well, girl falls in love for first time. With someone much older. Who is married. Who is a woman! Good shit, huh?” This is where I’d find out if I could really fall for this girl. The next few words out of her mouth would be worth their weight in gold.
“You like it so far?” Alright, so a bit disappointed. But damn, what the hell did I want to hear? I don’t even know myself, to be honest.
“I do. Yeah.” Simple.
“Lemme read it afterward, okay? Sounds kinda interesting.” She smiled once again. Click.
“Yeah, definitely. Definitely.”
I think that’s how the story goes. Something like magic, out of thin air. Something that’s supposed to, does happen. It’s not exactly destiny. Destiny’s harsher, with defined actions. This, it’s different. It’s about chance and a soft, malleable condition of the soul. A heart that’s ready to try something else, that’s ready to take control. I believe in this. Someday it’ll strike again. And I’ll be waiting.