Thursday again, and itís sunny and warm. Ten minutes Ďtil three, I lock up the house and begin my walk. A flame-coloured bag hangs heavily from my shoulder, stuffed with writing books and swinging back and forth with the momentum of my steps. I walk uphill toward the bus stop, every time seeing something new on the way. The plants seem to be a luscious green, happy and moist; Underneath, I see a starved brown matte more fitting of the weather.
Passing the gate, the scent of jasmine swirls with the wind, strong enough to block out some of the car fumes. Meeting the intersection, I skip across the white-band bridge, fearing the consequences of lingering too long: Tons of metal always win over pedestrian right of way. And finally, I find my stop.
I stay a while, knowing I am early and the bus will not be. For a while, I stand there on the sidewalk, glowing in the sun and groaning under the weight of my books. As they pass, I glare at the cars coming from the opposite direction. I should be watching for the bus, but the light is too great there and I turn my head away. Soon, I have moved into the shade of a tree, leaning against its jigsaw bark. The shade isnít any cooler, but somehow it still helps.
Another person comes, sits on the curb to wait for the bus. I watch them suspiciously, reaching for my cellphone despite the lack of threat. Check the cellphone again, itís just past three.
Finally, the bus arrives, the other person rises to climb on board, and I step on as well. Digging in my pockets, I find the exact amount to pay, already having counted the money and set it aside for maximum efficiency. I take a seat and glance at the cellphone again: 3:07, always the same.
Sitting in the bus, I feel cool, the perfect city-girl, wishing I had an iced coffee in one hand and a pair of oversized sunglasses in the other. I pretend that I do drink coffee, that I read the fashion magazines, and that the wind from open windows isnít messing up my hair but giving it that hip windblown look. Iím wearing the latest pinstripes, or the cute miniskirt, or the fashionable fur-in-summer look. My makeup shows how naturally beautiful I am, how hot my face would look if I could get a tan without burning, how my lips would look if they bloated even bigger.
I canít help but roll my eyes at my own daydream; Yeah, a frilly drink would be nice, but the rest I comfortably live without. I look down at myself. Iím cute, I think, and turn satisfied to the scenes out of the window, hand itching to pull the Stop Requested line.