ON THE MEGABUS, COMING HOME FROM MONTREAL
(Bus Stories #7)
BY BEATRICE EKWA EKOKO
Watching two couples. The first couple is young, twenties. The guy has this dumb looking face, cheerful, blond hair in a ponytail. Eyes have a surprised look to them, brows slightly raised. His girl is tall, slim, dyed hair—auburn, with the roots showing brown.
The other pair faces them: older, thirties, German, both a little stout, solid, conspiratorial, present to each other with no flashy show about it. Easy.
They’re talking about Montreal, the 24-hour bagel place (where they make them right in front of you), Mount Royal and the fire breathers and tam-tams, the jazz!
“Everything is a delight, a surprise,” the younger couple charm the older pair, but they are not charming each other.
She’s going to leave you buddy.
“Yes! It is. Anything can happen.” The older woman shares slices of pumpernickel bread across the pull out table.
The blond reads a book. He comments on what he is reading, trying to convey to his girl the subtleties of the decision that the protagonist faces: conceal the truth from his wife for the greater good, or tell the truth and cause her untold harm?
“I think he should have given her the option,” she is dismissive. She closes her eyes.
His body is ever turned to hers; tuned to her every movement, her breath.
When she wakes up, stretches her long body, stomach exposed, he looks inquiringly over at her, she does not look back.
Rain is falling, beating on the pane. She stares out the window; head phones on, shoulders turned away, shuts him out. She mutters something, fingers brush her nose, he waits, wanting, responsive; you know how it feels. The other couple communicates without talking; they are in cahoots. They share an ear-bud each, listening to music.
The younger couple is snacking. She’s not quite sharing her popcorn: “It’s good,” he says. “Good to be able to eat popcorn again. My younger brother always teased me because I couldn’t eat it –since I had braces.”
“Nobody ever sticks to the rules…when it comes to braces.”
She’s done with you man.
Raining, pouring, she’s reading on her phone, and he is curious about her, because that’s how you behave when you are in love with someone, asks her something, she nods, and he nods, mirroring her eagerly, she yawns and he notices, like a dog, hungering for her crumbs, and I wish, I wish, I wish, she would turn to him.
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.