Bus Ride

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Bus Ride is a tale that attempts to highlight what's important in life. While it is science fiction based, the genre is only a catalyst for the greater subject matter.

Submitted: February 26, 2015

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Submitted: February 26, 2015

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“You’re about to meet a girl.” The young man looked up from his book. The old man sat casually on the bench next to him, his legs crossed as he played with a chain. “No, just waiting for the bus.” The young man replied. “My apologies, you just have that look about you I guess.” The old man’s eyes were a stunning blue as he gave a smile and peered at the boy’s book. “What are you reading?” The young man looked up from his book again, begrudgingly. “I’m reading about worm holes.” The young man paused “It’s a book about theoretical science.” He continued, feeling the need to explain a little further. “I spent my whole life with my nose in a book.” The old man sat up on the bench taking a deep breath. “I enjoy looking around nowadays, you never know what you’ll find.” “You know, when I was you’re age my folks didn’t have a lot, so for them, getting an education for their son was their main priority. I guess we were on the same page because I always felt more comfortable reading than I did talking to people. Making conversation always seemed like so much work.” The young man looked up. “Yeah me too.” He replied. “People are so….” The young man began and then they spoke together. “..complicated.” They shared a glance and then a laugh. “What do you do?” The young man asked. The old man reached under his dress coat and pulled out a pocket watch, examining the face of it. “I’m retired.” He replied. “Well what did you do?” The old man closed the watch and eased it back into his vest as he leaned forward. “I worked for the government, top secret stuff. I’d tell you but I’d have to…you know.” The old man gave a wink and a smile. The young man turned toward him and closed his book. “How about a hint?” he asked. “Hmm.” The old man pondered the question for a moment scratching his beard. “Ah, I have it, never put off today what you can do tomorrow,..or yesterday.” “You mean never put off tomorrow what you can do today.” The young man corrected him. “Absolutely not! I meant exactly what I said.” “Well that doesn’t make any sense.” “I have a feeling it will come to you if you think on it.” The young man grinned attempting to work out the puzzling phrase in his head.

 “Do you like magic?” The old man asked. “Yeah I guess.” And with that the old man produced an ink pen of stunning silver that shone brightly in the sunlight. “I’m going to make this pen disappear.” He said as he held it up. And with the flick of a wrist it was gone. “Wow.” The young man offered. The old man raised a finger and with the other hand pulled his coat open.  There in his vest pocket was a bright silver pen. “Oh well that’s easy, you have two of them.” The young man said. “Very true.” Replied the old man as he motioned with his eyes down toward the young man’s shirt. The young man looked down and resting in his own pocket was a bright silver pen. “Wow!” the young man was in disbelief.  “How did you..?, But we didn’t even touch?!” The old man shuffled his hands as if cleaning them off and raised them up for the young man to see. “I’ll never tell.”  The young man pulled the pen from his shirt and offered it back. “Oh no, it’s yours, you’re going to need it.” The sound of the bus coming around the corner caught their attention.

“Say Yes.” The old man continued. “Yes to what?” The young man asked. “To life my boy, don’t be afraid to close that book once in a while and look around you. There are wonderful things to see. Don’t be afraid to say YES!” “Alright.” The young man replied puzzled again. The bus came to a stop in front of them and the young man gathered his book. “You’re not coming?” The young man asked. “No I think I’ll wait for the next one.” The old man answered. “Alright, nice talking to you.” “You as well.” Said the old man. As the doors opened the old man called out; “Say Yes Andrew.” “Sure thing.” The young man called back and then he stopped at the first step of the bus and turned. “How’d you know my…” But the old man was gone. The young man looked up and down the street scanning for him but it was as if he’d disappeared.

Andrew did meet a girl that day. She was sitting right next to the only available seat on the bus. They talked for an hour, both missing their stops, neither one of them caring. She told him he had the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen and then she asked him to dinner. Andrew thought of the old man and for the first time in a long time Andrew said yes. And when she offered her number to him as luck would have it, he had a pen right there in his shirt pocket. Two short years passed and they were married. Andrew kept his nose in books though and he went on to become a scientist studying theoretical physics and soon received grants from the government for his work. Andrew never saw that old man again. But every once in a while when he’d stare into the mirror, he seemed to see the old man in himself. Maybe it was his memory playing tricks on him but maybe just maybe this was the very beginning of great things.


© Copyright 2020 Joshua Pierce. All rights reserved.

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