(Bus Stories #1)
BY BEATRICE EKWA EKOKO
Cold can of soup in hand has the top still attached. Sits on the ground, leaning against her shopping cart, which she takes with her everywhere. As if anyone would steal it. What’s in it? Her garbage bags are filled with what? Plastic bags, bottles. A blanket.Yesterday, she parked the shopping cart outside the supermarket. She sat inside the store’s café. She ate from a container—sushi, I think. I’ve seen her in the summer time, eating lettuce, tearing handfuls right off the bunch.
She ignores me, drinks her soup. She is listening to the children’s voices on the other side of the fence; hears the mothers calling them in, “pajama time!”
One time I said “hello” and she spoke to me. She said it was a lovely day. It was, since the sky was cornflower blue and the air smelt of lilacs. That summer, she hung clothes out to air, a jacket, a pair of trousers. She hung them over the rail by the bus stop. Some, she lay on the grass to dry.
They call her Angry Woman; I’ve heard she doesn’t like to be trapped inside walls. I’ve heard she misses her children. She mistrusts people; only sometimes she will look at you. Once I saw her filing her income tax. Once she stood in front of me at the voting poll. Once I walked by her at the library; she had a notebook in front of her, she was writing a list in small, beautiful handwriting, perfectly looped. There was a book on the table. I strained to make out what the title was, something to do with money. She wore reading glasses. She had a skirt on, and stockings.Today, she’s wearing a visor she’s made out of cardboard, to shield her eyes from the afternoon’s glare.
Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is a Hamilton based writer. While she has been engaged throughout her life in various forms of writing, she is excited to be venturing into the world of fiction. Beatrice is a regular contributor to thespec.com and ParentsCanada Magazine. Follow her on twitter @BeatriceEkoko.