The bus is almost full. He walks down the aisle, his sweaty palms running down the seams of his threadbare trousers. He pauses by the empty seat. `Is this seat taken?`
She looks up at him, a flicker of concern masks her deep blue eyes. “No.”
He thanks her, slips into the empty space. She moves, inches imperceptibly nearer the window. He can smell her now, a heady perfume filling the space between them. He glances down, her knees white against the dark folds of her skirt. She shifts again, her hand flicking across the misted window. He feels a shudder beneath him as the vehicle begins to climb, the metallic crash as the driver moves through the gears. She is reading now, a lithe model adorning the magazine`s cover.
`Nothing on them.”
She throws him a startled look. `Sorry?`
`The model, skinny.`
She smiles wanly, flicks a page. He stares through the space she has cleared in the window. `Looks like rain, what do you think?`
She flicks over another page. `I expect so, don`t really know.`
`Windy too I wouldn`t wonder, what with the isobars packed closely together.`
They lapse into silence, the low grumble of the engine the only sound coming between them. Perhaps she is a student on her way to college or a junior off to her first day in a new job. She will have a boyfriend of course, sex several times a week. He imagines her, back arched, a low moan of ecstasy escaping from her generous lips. The bus slows. She shifts forward. `My stop.`
He lets her onto the aisle, an arm brushing his, his gaze following her as she sways down the bus. Then she is gone, her smell slowly evaporating in the cold morning air.