It’s evening and I’m dying to just get home. It just stopped raining and I’m standing at the bus station waiting for my bus to finally show up.
Looking at the people around me I spot two teenagers cuddling, a young man smoking, a frail old man in a fedora and a severe looking woman with a frown on her face. I find the latter somewhat intimidating so I make a point to avoid glancing her way again.
A bus approaches and I squint to see the number, not mine. Dammit. Looking down, the old man has also spotted the bus and readies himself to board, the bus slows as it approaches but then it doesn’t stop. Oh no.
The bus keeps going till the next stop down the road, the old man waited in the wrong place. He starts shuffling along, trying to reach the bus before its doors close. My eyes flit between him and the bus, ready to run and ask the driver to wait in case the old man doesn’t make it. A tense minute later, the old man in the hat reaches the bus and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Turning my attention back to my bus, my eyes catch the severe woman’s eyes. We simultaneously realise we’d both been following the progress of the old man. She smiles and says “I hope he made it”, all of a sudden she’s not so scary.
We share a smile and our lives intersect for a brief moment in our joint concern for a stranger. My phone pings with a message received. I look away to answer it.
The connection breaks and we each go back to our own lives.
“Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.”
― Suzy Kassem