Joseph stepped onto the bus that morning hoping he’d see her again. His weekly commute had been drab in the past few weeks without her. All he knew about her was her name, and even that was an accident. In a moment of hurried action she had dropped some of her papers, and he had swept in to pick them up like a knight in shining denim. Sarah Langford. A name that, for him, had both beauty and comfort. She had thanked him for his help. It was the only exchange between them but to Joseph it was a start to what he only hoped would be many more. When he replayed the scene in his head, instead of papers, he swept her into his arms when she fell to the ground. The sun came through the bus window and made her blond hair seem to glow as she looked into his eyes. “Thank you Joseph. My hero” was what his Sarah Langford said.
It was to his utmost pleasure that on his way to the back of the bus looking for a seat that he saw her, sitting alone, just as beautiful as ever. He felt his heart tighten and a lump in his throat grow as he worked up the courage to do what needed to be done. His eyes scanned the seats, seeing a few empty. But this morning he knew he couldn’t just keep walking. Hero’s don’t just walk on by. He stopped in front of her, took a deep breath, and asked;
“Can I sit here?”
She turned for a moment to regard him, looking like she had just woken from a deep dream, and nodded slightly. Shocked, he saw that she had been crying, her eyes puffy and tired. She went back to looking out the window as he folded his hand in his lap and staring toward the front of the bus. He ran through his brain searching for something to say. What came out was not what he was hoping for.
“So, two muffins are in the oven together, the first muffin says ‘Man it’s hot in here’ and the second muffin says ‘Oh wow, a talking muffin!”
He was petrified. This was his great master plan? He looked over, hoping she would still be staring out the window, but instead she had her eyes locked on him. Her cheeks still tear-stained, but color had run back into her face.
“Are you ok?” Joseph asked
“I’m sick.” She said pulling off her hat. Her beautiful blond locks were gone. She felt him staring at her. “You think I’m ugly, don’t you?”
“No.” Joseph said “I think you are beautiful. In fact, I always have since I first saw you.”
He felt the soft touch of her hand as she reached over to take his. It was cold, but it felt right. They sat in silence, staring forward, and holding hands. Joseph thought he’d never feel this good again without her hand in his.
When the bus stopped, he helped her to her feet, and let her go ahead of him.
“You can sit with me whenever you want to. That is if you want to.” She said
“I’d like that. A lot.”
Joseph stepped out into the cold. He slung his bag over his shoulder, and took in the letters on the building. Wilson Elementary. They seemed so small now. Funny how a smile can change so much. As he walked toward the door only one thought went through his mind
Watch out Wilson, here comes Joe, The Super Hero.
Story by Kloipy (Seth Dombach)