The Bus

I stumble onto the nearest seat, iPhone in hand, grumpy that my podcast is loading slowly and that the bus was late. A chubby, freckled woman of maybe 30 is sitting across from me. She has the kind of crooked teeth that stick out prominently even when her mouth is closed. Her honey hair blends into her freckled skin, and her bulging stomach escapes undisguised from underneath a spaghetti strap singlet. One seat away from her sits a thin man of about the same age with long, dark, unkempt hair tied in a ponytail. He stares at his feet like a small child in trouble. His mind is elsewhere. For a couple of stops I assume they are strangers, but when they speak they share a loud, slow drawl unfamiliar to my ears.

She taps him. “Now remember, what’d I tell ya?”
He looks up from his shoes. “Um…three of the…”
“Three of the raspberries-”
“Three of the raspberries.”
“Five dollars fifty.”
“Five dollars fifty.” He nods along. She’s satisfied. I find myself considering her face, thinking about how she would maybe be attractive thin and with dental work. I look at my hands.

“Bye, baby.” She leans close to his face and slowly, tenderly kisses him on the cheek. The bus stops. She gets up to leave, and he watches her intently, eyes glowing.