She sat there smiling. Dark glasses sat tightly on her eyes. Her short hair pulled together in a clip. Age had left its mark on her wrinkles, curled fingers and her short stature. She held her purse close to her body. The bus was full. Someone pulled the string to request a stop. She looked up at the person – a young lady, dressed in all white, busy on her cell phone and smiled at her and said ‘Wish you a great weekend.’ The lady nodded, stepped off the bus and the doors closed.
She looked divine.
Next was a middle-aged African American lady. “Hope you have great weekend” she said to the lady. The lady smiled and wished her the same. Every single passenger who got off the bus – she smiled at them, wished them a great weekend and she shined brighter. Some acknowledged her wish, some wished her back, some didn’t spare a glance – but she sat there smiling, her hair softly surrounded her face, her expression – content and satisfied, wishing every single person who got off the bus ‘a great weekend’.
She touched my soul. I have always been hopelessly romantic and unfathomably foolish when it comes to emotions – but sitting there in that bus along with her in a sleepy town of the United States, I felt her divinity infectious.
Does she do this every Friday? Sitting on a bus, on her way back from work, does she wish each and every passenger ‘a great weekend’? She must be a very happy person. Call me naïve but how else can anyone spread happiness so spontaneously? Is this her habit? Her mother did that always, and she is doing that too?
The wedding band on her finger has lost its shine. The green jacket that she wore has worn off too. Her boots are dusty. Her smile though is the brightest. She takes off her hairpin – takes out a black woolen hat and puts it on. She grabs her bag and looks at everyone left in the bus, “I would like to wish you all a great weekend” she smiles, and gets off the bus. My eyes follow her…she turns away.
Whom is she going to? Is it that her family awaits her when she gets off the bus? A family of loving comfort and warmth? A husband, a couch, the mashed potato and even a cat with a small porch?
Or is it that she walks into a dark room and switches on the light? Her eyes take time to get accustomed to the darkness. The cat walks past by. She takes off her jacket and pours a cup of coffee. She sits on her chair, looks out at the porch, takes off the wedding band, touches it lovingly, puts it on her side table and smiles. Is that her story?
Her story… I’ll never know. But she stays in my mind and finds that small little place where you stock up your memories. You take those memories out and brush off the dust in the days that seem dull and the mind is numb. You are always thankful for such memories.
“Good bye ma’am. Hope you have a great life!” And yes…I am sure my weekend will be great!