Why can’t life be easier? Why can’t things just work out? Trisha shook her head sadly as she boarded the bus, glad to be out of the chilly November air and happy to see that a seat was open near her. She sank down gratefully, pulling her coat in around her and grasping her bag closely on her lap.
The scruffy young man on her right moved his legs together guiltily, apparently realizing he was taking up more than half the seat. “Oh, sorry,” he said in a deeper voice than she’d expected. Trisha glanced up quickly into soft blue gray eyes that really did look apologetic. She couldn’t help but return his smile. “No problem,” she said. “I’m exhausted, is all, and just glad to find an empty seat.”
“Long day, I’d guess?” That voice of his just rumbled and as her eyes met his again she noticed the wrinkles around the corners of those eyes and the touches of gray in his beard. Not so young, maybe. “Long week, and its only Wednesday.”
“Ah, well, maybe things will be looking up soon.” How did he manage to look so appealing and sympathetic at the same time?
“Maybe. I guess. Sure.” She could feel her cheeks heating. “Sorry, I haven’t any idea, really. My job was just downsized today. Such a nice way of saying you’re fired without really saying it.”
“Oh, I am sorry to hear that! Perhaps I could buy you dinner?” Now he had the grace to look slightly uncomfortable. “Jeez, you must think me an idiot. My name is Grant Thomas and I’m getting off at the Peterson Avenue stop unless you’d go to dinner with me, in which case we can get off the bus wherever your stop is?”
“Trisha James,” she said extending her hand. “Peterson is my stop, too, and there’s a little Italian restaurant right there on the corner.” “Brunettis,” they said together, laughing.
“So, Trisha James, what do you say? Join me for a glass of wine and some incredibly good pasta?”
Closing her eyes briefly against all the reasons she shouldn’t trust this rather scruffy looking stranger she’d just met on a city bus, Trisha glanced up into those very kind eyes and decided. “I’d like that, Grant,” she smiled.
“Wonderful and here’s our stop now,” he said, guiding her down the aisle toward the door, nodding to the driver. “Good night, Lillian.”
“Night, Dr. Thomas. See you tomorrow.”
Oh, my, Trisha thought, appearances certainly could be deceiving…
Picture from Pixabay