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She was so lonely. She knew this yet she could do nothing to change it. She froze around new people and social gatherings saw her as a rabbit caught in headlights. She would never be a social butterfly. She had friends, she wasn’t a loner but she much preferred her own company. Large groups were not her thing. Crowds made her feel claustrophobic, even being on public transport made her anxious. She had her friends, she was fine. They were the quiet kids at school, with their various personality disorders and abnormalities, but that wasn’t a bad thing, it made her feel less alone.

She was sitting on the bus on the way home. It was raining, typical November weather. The bus driver was in a bad mood, possibly because of the weather, and was stopping for at least 5 minutes at every stop. She wondered if it would have been quicker to walk, then remembered the rain and decided not. She thought it was amazing how many people you see every day but don’t notice. Strangers that pass each other by on the street daily don’t give each other a moment’s thought. She looked around the bus and sighed. Another thing she thought was strange was how ignorant people are. You may see the same person on the bus for months, or even longer, but never speak to them.

Elderly people always talk to each other on public transport, she’d noticed, whether they knew each other or not. Others don’t though. Somebody could be sitting next to you, and be completely broken inside. Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a hello to brighten up somebody’s day. Yet we ignore each other, too wrapped up in our own lives to pay attention to anyone we don’t have to.

She stared out of the window as the bus driver pulled away, watching the raindrops cascade down. She wondered what it would be like to be a raindrop, always falling. The bus stopped at the traffic lights and she noticed a bus driving past in the opposite direction. A young man in a black trilby was also staring out the window. They caught eye contact for a fleeting moment and she smiled shyly. She begin to wonder about him. Who was he? Where was he going? Who was he going home to?

She brushed the thoughts aside and broke out of her daydream. She realised she had nearly missed her stop so quickly pushed the button and started to make her way to the front of the bus. As she passed the front seats she heard somebody cry out ‘Wait!’ A young girl in blonde pigtails, she guessed her to be about five or six years old was dancing towards her. She had a small teddy bear in one hand and a purse in the other. The girl offered the purse to her. ‘Oh!’ She exclaimed. ‘Thank you so much.’

She smiled as she exited off the bus. Thank goodness somebody found it in time, she thought. She would have had no idea where she left it otherwise. She only had small change in her purse but she had many sentimental items in it, various cinema and bus tickets, as well as her bank card.

As she walked down her street, she found herself thinking about the young girl that handed her the purse. She hadn’t noticed her on the bus, as far as she remembered. She was a people watcher so that was surprising. She seemed to appear out of nowhere. She also didn’t remember having her purse out, either. She had gotten in the habit of placing her ticket in her purse and putting it straight in her bag, so she didn’t lose it or leave it somewhere. Yet her bag was zipped up. This was strange.

There was something odd about the girl, too. She recognised her from somewhere but she wasn’t sure where. And she was alone, too. She wouldn’t feel comfortable letting a child of that age on a bus in the late evening. Especially as it got darker a lot earlier now. Or maybe she was just being old. After all, they do say kids grow up a lot quicker than they used to.

She sighed as she opened her front gate. That must be it, just her being contemplative. She really must stop thinking about strangers and wondering about their lives, she told herself. It was rather unhealthy.

She woke up the next morning with a start, her body shaking and feeling feverish. That was strange, she thought. She’d felt fine yesterday. Then she remembered her dream. It was about the blonde girl from the bus. She’d been sleeping and had woken up due to hearing strange noises from outside the window. She’d turned up outside her house, just standing outside, staring up at the window.

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