It was a cold morning after the night’s rain and the heavy clouds still drifted lazily in the sky. The air was crisp and clean with the faint smell of ozone. The streets were yet to be filled with people, but the bus was right on schedule. Those that had braved the cold morning and were waiting for the bus were relieved to see it rattling to a stop. There were few passengers already on the bus.
A young woman was the last to climb into the bus. She smiled softly at the driver as she paid her fare, but her eyes were guarded. It was disturbing to see her small frame leaning heavily on a cane as she hobbled towards the back of the bus.
She would have been described as beautiful if she paid a little more attention to her looks. In her other hand, she clutched a flower pot with a cactus plant – it looked dead.
The bus sped past the new government building with its large windows and the national flag in front of its gates fluttering in the wind. The huge doors were open and people moved in and out of the building in a hurry.
There was a man seated behind the bus driver. He wore a black trench coat and a red scarf around his neck. He lifted his head from his hands as the bus hit a bump in the road. Sleepy eyes stared ahead as the city rolled past. Tucked beside him was an old violin with two strings – the bow was taped together in several places and looked as it would fall apart.
In the middle of the bu, a little boy knelt on his seat with his hands and nose pressed against the window. When he leaned back, he saw the imprints on the fogged-up, dirt-streaked glass. He raised a finger and started to draw on the window.
Soon there were three stick figures – a man, a woman, and a child – holding hands. Behind them was a house and tree. The boy settled on his heels and watched his work in fascination.
Everyone was wrapped up in their world and trying to make sense of life in their own way. Inside the hunk of metal with seats that smelled of cheap leather, and were riddled with holes, worlds collide. And on and on the bus went – wheels rolled on narrow and broad streets, while shops and buildings raced beside it.