She looks at her reflection in the darkened window of the bus, the fluorescent lights illuminating part of her face, keeping the other half hidden in shadows. Her eyes look tired and zoned out. Even to herself she appears grim and solemn. The bus slogs along with a rhythm, its engines creating a hollowed out sound, resonating throughout the interior. Not a soul speaks. The person beside her taps his toes to the beat of his music, content in his own little bubble, oblivious to the stares of others.
Sitting beside him, she’s aware of the odd smell coming from him; a mixture of coffee, cigarettes and aftershave, it seems oddly familiar yet strangely soothing. The smell makes her wonder-an overdose of caffeine and nicotine – maybe he isn’t so carefree after all. She passes her gaze over others standing and sitting around her, curious about who they might be. Slumped down low in her chair she slowly begins to feel the dull ache in her legs caused by standing throughout her entire journey.
Fatigue passes over her in waves and she rubs her eyes, keeping them glued to the darkened streets; a mere attempt at keeping herself awake. The narrow, deserted streets look eerily beautiful. The night so dark and mysterious, illuminated by the golden street lights looks strikingly mesmerizing.
During these long journeys’ she has the chance to think. Back tracking through her life, she eventually steers her thoughts to the present while keeping her eyes on the road.
The darkened streets help her dream. She tries not to focus on her present troubles. As she dreams she smiles to herself; her face a mask of imperfection, her mind far far away as the bus continues to move amid the rattling of the windows, the roar of the wind outside, the beat of the strange man’s music and the muffled hum of the engine.