By Melissa Proulx
I take the bus to campus from my apartment in Newmarket whenever I can. Part of the reason is because it’s practical, part of it’s because I’m lazy and cheap, but mostly it’s because I’m a sucker for people watching.
I’m not entirely sure whose schedule matches whose, but I always manage to spend my rides with the same select handful of people. I don’t know their name, age, major, address, hometown, zodiac sign, blood type, or favorite color.
But their presence always comforts me.
Just like in elementary school, the back of the bus is always the best. It’s at a higher level and you almost feel like a greater power watching over the rest of the passengers as you make your way home.
Some might say that this a creepy habit of mine, but when the windows are covered with salt and dirt, or it’s pitch black outside, I like to justify it as a human habit. While some might chose to do so in a more public, less obvious place, I like where I am.
There’s this one boy who always breaks my heart during these rides. He’s of medium height with a slim build. His black hair nearly touches the top of his glasses as he bends forward over his phone and he’s always wearing big, white headphones whenever I see him.
He’s usually alone and absorbed in his own little world on the screen of his phone. Though most of us are, he’s always stood out to me for some reason.
But the other day, he melted my heart. It was the usual Tuesday time as I stepped on the bus at my usual Tuesday night stop and headed to the back.
I passed him on my way by and saw that tonight, he was not alone.
He was sitting with a girl whose face I could not see and I’m not sure if they had been friends before this. But as the bus progressed, so did their conversation. I couldn’t hear what was being said because of the rumbling vent behind me, but I didn’t want to.
As we got closer to the stop, he became more excited with his words. His hands flailed as he gave her his headphones and his phone, and let her into his shell. He smiled and this time his bangs finally touched his glasses.
They both got off at the same stop as me, but I didn’t see where they went as I climbed over the lip of snow and onto the sidewalk. As I braced and braved the cold home, I thought about the glimpse of what I had just seen.
I have no way of knowing what he showed her on his phone, whether it was a song, a photo, a game, or even a post on some sort of social media outlet. But whatever it was had ignited something and set him ablaze.
We all have something that does this to us, though we may not know about it yet. But the rare chance I get to see these moments of realization is what keeps me on the bus.
Melissa Proulx is a TNH staff writer. Follow her on Twitter @_mcproulx.