Groggy, the man blinked his eyes slowly and looked out the window of the bus. The glass pane shook as the machine rumbled to life. The driver looked outside one last time before closing the door and accelerating out from under the overhang. With nothing but brick burnt out buildings to see, the passenger shifted his eyes to his book and began reading.
His body lurched back and forth as the driver's clumsy driving slammed the bus to a stop at each signpost. Absorbed in his book he hardly noticed it, just as he hardly noticed the woman sit down next to him. It wasn't until the shine of her bracelets reflected into his peripheral vision that he glanced up.
Her raven hair was pulled back into a simple clasp, and the ends swayed lightly against her shoulders as the bus moved. Thumbs tapping quickly on the BlackBerry, the set of rings, bangles, and bracelets jingled with each, their hold on the small porcelain wrists just tight enough to stay on. A black cardigan wrapped itself around her and covered half of her forearms.
Having studied his companion, he shrugged slightly and began reading again. His interest was piqued, normally people didn't sit next to him on the bus unless it was full. Leaning back at the next stop he stole a glance around and at the profile of her face. The bus was a little crowded, but there were a few seats next to others farther back. The vast majority of seating seemed taken by a camp group of children and counselors. He figured the seat next to his must have been the closest non-empty one.
Looking down past his book he noted her shoes. White and black striped and tied with small bows. Her color scheme was becoming apparent, and he mused to himself about what label might apply: emo, scene, goth, just tired? Her pale face was angled and enhanced with lines of liquid night that popped the blue of her eyes noticeably even from the brief profile view he had seen. The only other color was the dusty pink of her lips.
Satisfied with his overview, he decided that if he could figure out something to say to her, he would, but until then he'd enjoy his book. An attractive woman on the bus next to him was rare, but the chances of them having anything in common was more so. Better to just read and relax he thought to himself.
After a few more stops he paused to look out the window. Then he heard a light bell-like voice. "Excuse me, is that a book about programming?"
Caught off guard he turned and answered, giving her his full attention. No longer viewing a side profile, he noticed the inside of her hair was coloured a vivid deep ocean blue. Her gaze, wide eyed and fixed to his own, held him captive as he tried to talk with her and appreciate her beauty at the same time. Their conversation amiable and interesting, the man smiled as he went into details about the book's materials.
The woman nodded and asked about other books the authors had written, discussing her own work and how it related. While data entry wasn't quite programming, the amount of HTML markup she had learned during editorial work had peaked her interest. She asked if he took this bus often and they shared a mutual surprise to find out they both took it regularly. White teeth flashing happily, she pushed her purse straps onto her shoulder and grinned at him. Letting him know that she normally got off one stop earlier, but would be taking the next today. As the bus slowed down and she stood they exchanged handshakes and names. The days of tomorrow promising future exchanges and possible friendship.