Waiting for the Bus

Why am I always the one feeling things? Or am I misunderstanding things? Is it because people hide their emotions so well? Is that why I don’t understand how father left without even the slightest hint of grief in his face? Must have been. After all he told me he cares about me. “You are a man! A man like me!” he used to tell me, as he swept sand off my knee. I used to wonder back then, “am I not allowed to cry?” When grandmother died, I asked the same question to myself. I didn’t cry, but father did.

It is 3 am. Suddenly I remember how mother used to tell me that I write too much about love. “Don’t you have anything else to talk about?” She said that while preparing our dinner. We had curry that night. I didn’t have any appetite, so I finished up early. Went upstairs, opened my book and started writing again. Wrote couple of words, then I got bored. Then I drew mother’s face. Smiling beside father.

Back then when people talk to me, I’d stare at their faces instead of listening. I’d get too absorbed with their animated expressions that every words they spoke started to sound the same. Some people smile with their eyes, some don’t, or rather won’t. When I was 18, I made a friend. We would sneak out of our houses and go to the beach and talk till the sun rises. He liked to ramble on airplanes, new ones, old ones, crashed ones. I was never interested in airplanes, but I found myself looking into his eyes as he spoke. I don’t understand a thing, but I learned to listen.

It is now 5 am. My bus is still not here. Silently, I hope that it will never come. Engine problem, ran out of fuel or an accident. I close my eyes, imagining what you will say when we meet. And I replay the conversation we will have over and over again.

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