12:34 A.M.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: April 25, 2016

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Submitted: April 25, 2016

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12:34 A.M.

  You’re sitting on a bus. Your stomach’s talking to you but you have no means to answer it. Besides the bus driver, you're the only customer on this bus. You look out the window and notice a Burger joint, a strip club, and a junior high. Then, the bus flies a little when it passes a railroad crossing. Your eyes flutter, and you re-adjust yourself. The bus hasn’t stopped for 7 minutes now. Your feelings of anxiety and unease slowly drip out of your body. ‘Smooth sailing,’ you think. You can’t afford to shut your eyes right now. Not at this time of night. The bus slows its speed, you ready yourself for the group of people waiting at the bus stop.

The bus resists a couple times before hissing at a complete stop. The doors slide open, and in come two elderly women, three youths, some mysterious looking man with headphones and a backpack, a plump middle-aged man, and a beautiful young woman. You figure that the young woman must be in her early or mid-twenties. She dresses with style. Then, you notice her looking for a seat. She probably won’t sit in the back with the youths, or the mysterious guy. Suprisingly, he passes on by the elderly women in the front, to avoid conversation maybe. The plump man takes a seat about four rows ahead of you. Another suprise, the girl takes her seat in front of you. As she dips down to take her seat you inhale the scent of Vanilla that seems to radiate off this girl. ‘A perfume?’ You think. ‘Or maybe lotion,’ you think more. Whatever it is, it’s attractive. The next stop is in Fullerton. You think that maybe she goes to school there. Maybe the state school, or maybe she goes to one of the private universities. The idea of her coming from means doesn't cross your mind until now.

God, she’s beautiful. She’s got a short-bobbed haircut, she's a brunette. Her skin is like that of porcelain: pure white. You look out the window again, the scenery changes. You’re hunger intensifies, and desperation seems to be kicking in. You don’t want to cause attention to yourself, but you’d do anything for a burger or something right now. You want to forget how you lost all your money earlier. '20:1, it must've been rigged,' You think, in a poor attempt to assure yourself.

“Excuse me, do you know the time?” The beautiful girl interrupts your thought process. In 2016, with cellular technology, this is a question you’d hardly hear anymore. But you oblige her.

“It’s 12:34” You say.

“Thank you... Ha, 1234. How funny,” she says to you. A smile follows.

“Yea. It’s one of those things, I guess,” you tell her.

“One of those things?” She asks.

“Yea. I guess some would call it a coincidence. Disgusting luck.”

She chuckles, “Disgusting luck…I’ve never heard of that one,” she says. Embarrassment consumes you. “I like it,” she continues. “I guess I’ve had some of that tonight.”

She looks at you, and then out the window. You take a shot in the dark.

“Lost your phone?” You ask her.

“Something like that,” she says.

“You’re alive, isn’t that what counts,” you try your best to shoot some optimism her way. ‘Don’t try too hard,’ you tell yourself.

“Optimism’s the only hope for the future,” she says, and smiles at you. You find this line to be very cliché, but that doesn’t matter because she’s beautiful.

“Do you go to school around here?” You ask.

“Yea," you're 2 for 2,"I go to Chapman,” she finishes. Now, how did you figure that one?  

“How do you like it?” You ask, ‘seem interested.’

“Yea…it’s very stimulating,” you feel that she’s not telling you the whole truth.

“What.... being introduced to all sorts of different people and such,” you say, "Private colleges must be on a whole other level."

“I guess,” she pauses, “I grew up not far from here, so it’s like going through high school all over again, sort of.”

“How do you figure?”

“Cliques, social extroverts, introverts, parties, studying. It's just a repetition of societies routines,” She pauses again, “I can’t complain if I want a good job later on I suppose, right?”

“I couldn’t tell you,” You say to her.

“Oh sorry, are you not a student?”

“Not in that way, no.”

“Oh, a student of life?” She tries to be cheeky and cute, you smile in order to amuse her, but you yourself are not amused.

“No, I just like fast money is all,” you say, and she looks at you with a confused expression on her face.

“How do you mean?” She asks.

“Like this,” you lean over her seat, sliding out a Saturday night special from inside your jacket sleeve. You furtively nudge it against her arm. Her eyes open wide, her mouth opens big. “If you scream I’ll pull the trigger,” You whisper to her. She nods. “This piece doesn’t pack much of a punch, but it’s sufficient enough to lodge a bullet deep enough into your arm. You'll bleed to death, understand.”

“Please don’t,” she pleads.

“I won’t if you do what I say,” you whisper.

“What do you want,” she says quietly, but not quietly enough. So, you take a glance around, and it doesn’t seem as if people notice that you have this girl held up at gunpoint.

“I want you tell me where you’re going,” you tell the girl.

“What?” She’s confused.

“You can’t afford to ask questions here,” you answer, pressing the barrel of the pistol deeper into her arm.

“Ok, Ok. Well, back to my sorority house I guess.”

 “Do you like it there?”

“What?”

“One more, ask me something once more and I'll fire. I’ll take your purse and run away, and I'll make it too.”

“No no no no,” She whispers, with overwhelming fear and desperation in her voice now. Yet, she sits perfectly still in her seat.

“For a college student, you’re pretty dense. But, I don’t think that has anything to do with it.”

“Just take my purse, please.”

“I don’t want it yet,” you say.

“Why not?”

“Because,”

“That’s a shit reason, dude.”

“Whoever said there needed to be a reason?”

“You’re sick,”

“Is that your major? Are you into medicine, or psychology maybe?”

“Why does it matter?”

“Because right now I have a pistol pointed straight at you, and it should've gone off already. This information is what I want from you, so answer.”

“Yea, I’m a psych major, yea. How’s that? Do you like playing God, is that it? Well, you’re right, God, I’m a psych major…is that all?"

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why psychology?”

“Because, I’m interested in it…”

“I don’t think so…”

“You don’t even know me.”

“I don’t have to, I’ve met people like you before.”

“So you’re judgmental?”

“Not at all, I just don’t think people go to college to do something they’re interested in. It’s an investment for a great career with great benefits, especially when you’re majoring in one of the most impacted professions around right now…How much does it pay? Whisper to me in my ear,” you say, and she does, “Very nice.”

“My stop is coming up,” She says, nearly on the verge of tears.

“See, we’re almost done here,” You try to calm her down, as if that’ll work.

“What next?” She asks, nervously.

“What do you mean?” You return.

“Are you going to follow me off the bus?” She asks. The bus slows down again, and finally it stops.

“No.”

“Do you want my purse?”

“No.”

“My money?”

“No.”

“Then what do you want?”

“I want you to get off of the bus and forget this ever happened,” you say. Then, you slowly slip the pistol back into your sleeve, taking the barrel off of her bicep. It's still pointing at her.

“Are you serious?”

“1…2…" You cock the hammer from inside your sleeve, "...3…” And by the time you reach 4, she’s out of her seat, rushing to the pavement  outside. You sit back into your chair completely and look out the window as the bus starts up again and pulls out onto the road and drives off.


© Copyright 2017 C. Avina. All rights reserved.

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