Maana was quite a careful young lady.
The bus rolled to a stop several yards away from where she stood, responding to her flag down. She hurried towards it, increasing her pace as the driver made as if to drive off. As if tipped before hand, the bus went into motion the moment one foot touched inside and her other foot promptly followed. After landing on the laps of two well-endowed ladies on either side, she finally squeezed into the tiny space which, by moving few inches apart, they had painstakingly created. Then her gaze strayed to the driver’s seat. Her heart beat increased by five in a second as her eyes settled on his face in the rear view mirror for a microsecond.
‘All things bright and beautiful; the Lord God made them all’. He made this impossibly handsome driver who was so intent on driving and wouldn’t spare her a look. He also made that strikingly ugly man who had tried to chat her up some days ago. He indeed made them all.
She yanked her attention off him effortfully as she retrieved the ‘Return of the kings’ from her bag. Aragon and Gandalf and co. were about to fight the Orcs to distract Sauron from Frodo and the ring. The bus ate the miles as she read on. Bus-stops after bus- stops were called. Stops after stops were made.
‘Come down madam-read-book’ shouted the driver’s mate, impatient as can be. Only then did she realise that the bus had stopped. Frodo and Gollum were struggling for the possession of the ring at the very mouth of the fire of Mount doom. Book in hand, she jumped down just in time as the bus reversed and sped past. Only after returning the ‘return of the king’ into her bag, did she notice that her other hand was empty.
My box’ she wailed, helplessly, her bag still waiting ‘for another king’ to pass through. Attracted by her cries, one of the sellers moved to console her
‘Don’t worry. If you are patient and wait, the bus will come back’ the elderly lady consoled with a flawless diction. Wait, she must, her eyes fixed this time on the road as buses passed, some on full speed, and others just getting along. Her heart did another dance again, this time just two beats in a second. One for the joy of getting her box back; the other for the sight of the divinely made beauty at the wheels. Of course, she recognised him. Thanks to low traffic, her bus was crawling past in search of passengers. She rushed in like the others did and after some heaving and sighing, and a few curses here and there, she retrieved her treasure from the vehicle. The bus, full this time, sped past again.
‘Watch your bag’, the elderly lady warned, as pedestrians walked in both directions in front and behind her. One hand firmly placed on the box’s handle, she rummaged through the bag with the other. She felt the lipstick, the powder case, ‘the return of the king’, her wallet and oh…
‘My phone’ she whimpered ‘my lovely phone’
‘I saw him keeping close to you’ the elderly lady said, now that the pick-pocket had gone ‘but my advice was too late. So sorry’
This time, there was no need to wait. The king having marched through, she zipped her bag close. ‘My phone’ she moaned again; it was only her fourth phone in six months…
Image from easyseek.com