John watches the snow outside the rear door of the bus flutter to
the ground in fat white flakes. His frozen breath escapes in
short bursts as he stands on the bottom step rubbing his hands
"You going or not, bud?" the driver says, twisting in his seat to
see who is holding up his route.
Raising his head, John's face is pale. The driver taps his thick
fingers against the steering wheel.
"Hey buddy, are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm good. The snow's coming down pretty hard, isn't it? I
have another bus to wait for in this mess."
"Look, I gotta get going cause there's people waiting to get
places, ya know?"
John surveys the empty bus and half smiles at the driver. "'There
is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to
go.' Have you ever read Tennessee Williams? My wife loved his
"I don't wanna be rude here buddy, but I really gotta take off.
If you don't wanna miss your next bus, I suggest you get off this
"Yeah, I suppose you're right."
John hunches his shoulders against the wind and steps off the bus
into the bitter cold. He shoves his hands deep into the pockets
of his wool coat while shuffling toward the bench inside the
glass bus shelter, dragging his feet in the snow as he walks.
Slumping onto the metal seat, John spots the lemon yellow silk
scarf lying on the bench next to him. His fingers flutter over it
as he closes his eyes.
"I'm here Liz," he says cupping the scarf in his hands. "Help me
John lifts it up to his face and breathes it in. The heady aroma
of jasmine takes him back to her.
Liz taps her foot, waiting by the curb for the bus to arrive. Fat
snowflakes stick to her hair turning it a deeper shade of red as
they melt.She would never have the chance to take refuge under
the bus shelter, because the city would not build it for another
"I should've brought my scarf." she mumbles, shaking out her
John reaches forward, rushing out into the snow. He takes hold of
her shoulders, and Liz struggles against his grasp.
"Don't go." John pleads, as he turns her around and leans closer
to brush back the wet curls flopping around her face.
Liz's cheeks flush a deep red. The remarkable shade spreads a
splendid radiant heat throughout his body.
"John? What are you doing here?"
"I've been riding the bus to this stop for a while now Liz. I
always bring one of your silk scarves with me to leave on the
bench in case the one I've already left is missing when I get
here. I make sure to spray it, just once, with your favorite
John frowns when he catches the faint sound of an advancing
engine. He strokes Liz's sodden hair, leaning even closer.
Closing his eyes, John whispers, "'I shall but love thee better -
after - death.'"
The pneumatic doors of the bus open with a whoosh. Shifting in
his seat, the driver gawks at John.
"Yo!" The driver bellows from his seat.
John's damp eyes open, revealing the large man behind the wheel,
gaping down at him standing alone in the snow.
"It's freezing out here guy. You goin' my way or not?"
"Yeah… This is my bus. Sorry about that. Just give me a quick
"Sure guy, but c'mon. I'm turnin into an ice cube over here."
John hurries back into the bus shelter, and gently lays the lemon
yellow scarf back onto the cold metal bench.
"'Death ... the opposite is desire.' Sleep now Liz…until