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The Bus Stop Under The Grey Sky

A Chapter X short story by Tom Curren

There was a man, and there was a bus stop, and there were differences between them, though they were not many.

Unlike the thousands of droplets of water that plummeted together from the sky, the man was alone.

That was, until the woman approached and sat on his left. He looked at her for as long as he dared before returning focus to his knees, which was little more than a split second; she was young, much younger than him, and her long blonde hair was plastered to her scalp by the rain.

After a moment of silence, he mustered enough courage to speak.

“Where are you going?” Was all he asked. His voice was flat and as dull as his clothes or the sky, as if he wasn’t truly interested in the question; which he wasn’t, as he knew exactly where she was going.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the woman smile a tiny smile.

“It’s not where I’m going,” she replied slyly. “It’s where I’ve been.”

He wasn’t entirely sure what the young lady meant by this, so he stayed quiet until she spoke again.

“Do you have any regrets, mister? Anything you’d like to have done differently?”

This time it was his turn to wear a small, bland smile. It didn’t suit him.

“You have no idea,” he said.

“Try me.”

He looked up at her. Her eyes, which were blue, were filled with an odd, very final kind of sadness.

“I missed my daughter’s wedding,” he said, his expression unchanged. “I worked my whole life for a man I hated, doing shit that didn’t matter. I married too early. I never saw Brazil.”

The sadness in the woman's blue eyes intensified, becoming brighter by far than the uniform sky.

“I haven’t lived long enough for those sorts of regrets,” she said. “Thank you.”

He shrugged.

“You never know where this bus is going,” she added. “Might be Brazil.”

He snorted.

“I know exactly where this bus is going, sweetheart. And it ain’t Brazil.”

They were both silent for a long while, watching the rain fall from the grey sky together.

The young woman wondered whether she’d ever make the same mistakes as the man.

The man knew that she would never get the chance.

Then the bus came, and took them both to the very same place.

Thank you so much for reading.

I’m Tom Curren – a writer, storyteller and entrepreneur from England. I publish a new short story in Chapter X every single day.

If you liked this, it’d be amazing if you smashed that little green heart down below. It’ll move me one step closer.

See you tomorrow,