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"Here's what I hate," she said matter-of-factly to me, looking casually around. "I hate it when you go to the bathroom, and the bathroom floor's all watery from people taking a shower, and the air's all steamy, ya' know, like when you can't see yourself in the mirror? And you sit down on the seat and it's all sticky from the steam and stuff ya' know?" She looked at me.
"Oh, what? yeah, I guess," I moved further down the bench away from her. Wait, I thought to myself, who is this girl, and why is she telling me about bathrooms while I am waiting for the bus?
"Oh, by the way, I'm Nelly Lynx. Do you live here? You sure don't look like it, nope, ya' don't look like a city kid at all." She stopped, and pulled a stick of Carefree gum from her faded jeans, and shoved it into her mouth.
Suddenly she said, "So, whaddaya think about that bathroom thing? I mean it really gets to me, ya' know. Oh gosh, doncha' just hate buses?" she asked, moving down the bench toward me.
"Well," I began, but she cut me off.
"My mom makes me take the bus every day. She never drives me anywhere, and that really ticks me off cuz when my dad left, he left the car for me, but my mom took it cuz she said my dad was crazy." She stopped again, and leaned towards me, staring at my eyes, her blonde, stringy hair falling in her face.
"Are you an Aquarius? I bet you are, cuz your eyes are brown. See, this fortune teller lady told me this stuff, about how to tell what sign people are. D'you wanna go see her? I think this bus stops in front of her place."
I stared at her in disbelief, wondering what she was doing telling me all this, and why?
"No, I mean, she's really good. Her name's Madame.... something anyway. Oh, do you like my pin? My old boyfriend gave it to me, he was really cool. He used to send me flowers and presents, I mean for no reason at all, ya' know. He was just... nice, y'know? He was kinda bad though, and he had to go to jail for stealing. But, I don't think he stole that much. I mean he said the people he stole from were all rich, so the stuff could be replaced, right? I mean he wasn't too bad, at least he didn't try to get me to steal. Oh, here comes the bus!"
I looked down the street, and saw a silver bus driving quickly towards us. We stood up to meet it as it stopped. She looked around. "So how about it? Do you want to go to the fortune teller with me? I'll meet you there, I have to do some stuff first, besides I don't really have money for the bus, y'know. You can't really see her place from the street. It's down an alley. So, I'll stand at the bus stop waving and that way you'll know where to get off. O.K.? See ya there." She walked away.
I stepped onto the bus and put a dollar in change in the machine, walked over to a seat and sat down. The bus started to move steadily down the street. At every stop the bus lurched forward, and people looked up to see if it was theirs. The bus stopped again and I looked out the window. There she was standing at the bus stop waving at me. The driver opened the door and called the street's name. As people left the bus I could see her eyes searching the crowd, and as it dispersed I could see her eyes checking again. The bus started moving, and as I stared at her out that bus window, I felt her eyes on my back, and her loneliness and confusion in my heart. And I knew that all she really needed was a decent life and friend, but I couldn't give it to her. n