The Look

The bus was silent except for the artificial lady announcing arriving stations and occasional advertisements. People were settled. It was a long route with few stations and majority of the travelers used to travel till the last station of this route. It was the first bus on that route, early in the morning before the crowd of office commuters starts. Hence, there was always a calm in this particular bus.

And she used to love this calm, this serenity. She used to leave early than her time to catch this bus instead of the next which would be filled with noisy crowd, who all are in a rush to run fast towards a dead end called office. She had to bunk her college lectures to catch this bus, and no one knew that she was doing these dancing classes, but she never cared about others. She was a dreamer. And she had to pursue her dream, even if that would make people around her sad. Because, dancing was what made her happy.

She used to take this bus everyday, and almost knew everyone in the bus. Not by name, but by a character description she made for them out of sheer observation. There was a guy who always used to sit near that last seat window reading a book with headphones on his head. She had never seen him look outside his book. He came before her station and probably got down after her destination. So, he was more of a part of the bus for her.

There was one old man who used to sit next to the exit door, quiet and composed. He always used to stare out of the window. He would hardly talk to anyone who sat next to him. Once he saw him talk to a little girl and even smile a bit. But otherwise, he was a lonely man, probably away from his family.

Likewise, there was a whole family of commuters in that bus she knew so well that she could almost feel if anyone was missing someday, without looking through everyone inside the bus.

One day, she was late, and could catch the bus just at the last moment. That day, her regular seat was taken by another person, someone new. She was disappointed to lose her seat. She walked towards the end were there was empty space to stand. That day, she thought about all the things that she lost in her life due to not getting late.

Next day, she was on her usual time. And she got her seat well. But today, that new guy from a day before was sitting in front of her. She sat there without giving any look to him and casually avoided looking at him – her usual behavior with new people she met. A reserved behavior that the so called rich and reputable society had taught her.

While she was observing people around her, her eyes fall upon him sitting right in front of him. He was constantly gazing towards her chest. There was weird smile on his face as if he was daydreaming something. It totally made her uncomfortable. And she got up from there and went to sit somewhere else, where he could not see her directly.

Next day, again, that guy was sitting in front of her regular seat. She felt miffed, but had nowhere else to sit. At first she felt to go and sit somewhere else, but then she recalled her grandma’s advice to her that she should never run away from her problems and face them with brave heart.

So, she sat right in front of him. Today also, he looked towards her. His weird unfocused eyes gazing towards her made her annoyed. She even made an angry face at him, then scorned and stood up.

Next day, the sit in front of her regular seat was empty. She thanked God that that peeved guy hadn’t come. She sat there and started reading her book. While reading a humorous para, she looked up, smiling, when suddenly she saw that guy sitting on a seat two boxes away. From there, the guy was looking constantly at the another girl sitting in front of him.

She felt really miffed upon him and she straight up went to teach him a lesson. When she reached the guy and was about to shout at him, he got up and hit her. Their heads bumped and they both stepped away for a while. What happened next was an eyeopener for her.

The guy had sat down again after he hit her on her head. He clenched the seat tightly and stood up slowly, unsteadily. He was still looking constantly in front of him, while she was standing right next to her. He extended his arm in front of him and said “I am really sorry, I didn’t see you…” and then started laughing “…I couldn’t have seen you anyway you see!”.

He was talking to her but he never looked at her until she spoke “umm…”

He was blind, with proper looking eyes, but lost vision.

She said sorry to him. Her anger had washed away in the abasement she felt for thinking bad for that guy. Well, she misunderstood ‘the look’.

After that day, she never saw him again, but she had made a separate entry of her little encounter with him in her daily diary.

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