Whisper

2008
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Those who make up a city, and those who make the bus ride.

She was well known on the bus – actually on the entire route. Her whispers were audible but in no way distinguishable. Most thought it a shame because she wasn’t bad to look at, though one old man called her “some big fat girl,” early one morning. She had bumped into the seat he was perched in and it annoyed him. She didn’t do it on purpose. He was a wiry old man, who had fought cancer twice and won, obviously but he had no patience with anyone from the over weight to obese – they “were killing themselves, and costing society a fortune.”

She whispered his words and no one could tell.

She was on the heavy side, sure but not bad to look at. Her skin was smooth and her eyes clear – Biblically clear, like the Song of Solomon poetry no one reads anymore. They simply all looked at the old man with disdain while she whispered in her seat.

She whispered into the window the entire route that day; after being dubbed the “some big fat girl.” The driver gave the old man dirty looks until he got off at the mall to walk his hour and half.

“Old coot, “said the bus driver but she wouldn’t look up and give him the half smile he was used to. She continued to whisper.

No one knew why she whispered or why she felt compelled to ride the bus all day long. She always had the right amount of money and a packed lunch and she rode the bus morning until evening, getting off here, boarding there and whispering despite the time or weather.

Maureen always said good morning to her and sat down just ahead of her. Maureen worked uptown and loved to talk on her phone. She called her mother on the ride to work and her sister on the ride home.  She would discuss dinner plans and what she would do with lottery money if she won. Maureen never thought of whispering into her phone.

Alex was too afraid to drive in the city so he took the bus everywhere. He told the driver one day that he’d someday rent a car and take a drive out into the country, maybe along the Wisconsin coast line, just to see what it was like and then he would sigh when the sky scrapers blocked the sun from the windows.

Stephanie always boarded the bus at 3:30. She had to make sure she had time to change into her work clothes before she got to work – once she told the girl that whispers that she had forgotten her underwear and had to go commando while waiting tables – she couldn’t walk straight for a week. The whispers that week hiccupped up and down when Stephanie took her seat for her drive into work.

Davy scowled no matter what, so she whispered low so he wouldn’t lose his features on the floor. Her whispers annoyed Davy. He was sure she was spying on him and teleporting his super human abilities to the enemy that would soon take over this wicked world. Then they would all be sorry that they didn’t take care of Davy. Davy could have saved him – buy why bother with such a clueless bunch.

The old man who called her 'some big fat girl' never rode the bus again. Never.

She whispered the day back into herself and took on the pain both felt and unfelt and when she disembarked the bus the driver would watch her for as long as he could but he could never tell where she ended up or the stories she might tell.

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