On the crowded bus, my stop a mile away. Looking up from my novel, there she is. Across the aisle and several seats ahead, she is next to the window in her own world, reading.

In her fifties, her hair greying, sweeping forward where it touches her shoulder. The outline of her high cheekbone suggests she is Asian — Japanese, perhaps — her dark eyelashes flutter gently as she reads. A tan flannel scarf loose around her neck guards against the cold.

The bus quiets to silence, the other passengers blur out of focus. My eyes see only her.

A rush passes through me as I drink in her beauty. I can’t see her face or what she reads. Just the outline of her cheekbone, her eyelash, her hair. That is enough. She wears no makeup; her skin bears only the faintest of lines.

In my mind I am next to her now. I imagine she turns toward me and smiles sweetly. I gently stroke her check with the back of my hand. Soft as a flower petal, warm to the touch. I taste the skin on her neck — Sweet Jesus! I’m in heaven!

The bus suddenly stops and the side doors open; it is my stop and I’m swept out with a dozen others. On the sidewalk now, I turn to look for her but the window is fogged. I catch only a hint of tan and grey as the bus pulls out.


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