Inspiration Monday: stronger than fate is the theme over at BeKindReWrite this week. I chose the prompt Why is she smiling?. Be sure to check out the amazing writers over there and join in once you feel inspired.
Why is she smiling? What does she know that I don’t?
Why is she smiling? There is that unspoken rule that you don’t look other people in the eye when you’re on public transportation, yet whenever each fluctuation of golden orange light cast from the streetlamps overhead peaks, I see her obstinate gaze remains steadfast on me. Why is she smiling? We’re riding the last bus out to the suburbs, though I live on the opposite side of town. There are only four stops left and six people remain on board. She will get out at the last stop. So will I, so why is she smiling? Is that even a smile? Or is it a sneer? The rolling cascades of dark hair framing her face must be the envy of every woman she meets. Her eyes are dark chocolate, full of bitter sweetness. Blue jeans and a sweatshirt two sizes too large, black and emblazoned with a large white A, make it impossible to tell with any certainty what the precise symmetry of her stature is.
The bus stops. She is washed in light. She gets up and walks towards me. Why is she smiling? Her laptop bumps the side of my face as she passes. Purposeful? I don’t know. Is she forcing my hand? I don’t know. This is not her stop. I dare not turn to look at her. I take a breath. I rise from my seat and make for the open door on the side of the vehicle. In the moment I turn onto the steps, I realise she is seated to my left. I glance at her on the way out of the bus and readjust my handbag. Why is she smiling?