1. The Smiling Lady
We are the outcasts, the wallflowers, the burnouts, the potheads. We don't approach each other, but we acknowledge each others presence. We don't speak, but we connect on a deeper level than we can even understand. We don't question the possibilities but we move forward like sharks. We can never look back, but those who do find the pain of the past so unbearable, that they let it take them away from the future. We are the same, yet we are so different that we understand how it feels to be alone. Not physically, but mentally. We are so visible that we are invisible. Our existence affects no one, but it impacts everyone. We appear only as we choose to appear. Because no one understands us like we understand each other.
As I'm sitting on the bus the quiet hum of the bus is the only thing keeping me sane. I close my eyes and shut everything out. Suddenly I feel someone sit in the seat next to me. I look up to find an old woman staring at me, " Hello.." I say awkwardly. She has no reply, but she simply smiles at me. The smile didn't seem like much, but it made me feel better. Not like I was upset about anything in particular, but I just felt better. The woman kept smiling, and smiling, and smiling. I finally realized that she would never say anything. So I let out. I told her all about my life. I told her about school, my mom, my dad, just everything. I told her how my mom is the only thing keeping me going, about how my dad died in a car accident 3 years ago. I knew I had only just met her, but I felt like she understood. She didn't nod, or making any acknowledging noises, but I knew she was listening. Being in her presence made me feel happy.
I heard the sound of the bus stop, and I frowned a bit. I didn't want to leave the lady, but I knew I couldn't be late for school. As I got up a felt a light touch on my arm. I turned around to find the lady staring at me. Slowly she opened her mouth and let out quiet words little at a time, " He understands... not perfectly.. but he understands." I wanted to ask her what she meant, but she just got up from her chair and stepped off the bus.