is one of a mass of primates...

Bus Stop

The bus stop was built into the embankment. It consisted of three concrete walls, the tallest at the rear, the others high but sloping down to the ribbon of sidewalk and the open road in front. It was simple, unremarkable - a typical sign and a featureless metal bench bolted to the pavement. Damp newspapers fluttered on the ground and streetlights perfused the early night with grey.

She stood alone, lightly kicking her army surplus boots against the base of the signpost and fingering the loose change in her pocket. The firmament spat down a few stinging drops and she turned up the collar of her long leather jacket before clutching her arms more tightly against her body. She shivered.

A man walked towards her. Strided. His substantial bulk was not disproportionate to his tall frame, and his biker vest and leather skull cap only served to make him more intimidating to her inexperienced mind. He stopped decisively at the bus stop and glanced over at her. She sensed him smirk at her downcast face. She stopped kicking at the sign. 

Telling herself it was wrong to be judgmental, that it was unfair to draw conclusions from the hard edges of his unshaven face or the hint of truculence in his posture, she nodded slightly and ignored him. Squinting, she peered down the road in search of the cold rectangular headlights of the city bus.

His lip curled, his eyes still on her, he took a step closer. She tried to make her own step backward seem innocuous, casual. Again, he moved, and a hot flush of anxiety slipped over her. She took a long step this time, as if moving aside, making way, and her eyes still scanned for the bus.

"So," he growled suddenly, "Are you gonna kiss me now or later? Because you know... It will happen."

Rancor emanated from him. Automatically, she kept backing up as he moved towards her angular, teenaged frame. Resentment and helplessness welled inside her as her heels hit the wall behind her and her heart pummelled her chest. She felt his breath on her neck and was suddenly nauseous.

"Never," she rasped, as she heard the familiar whoosh of the bus' hydraulic door.

She ducked away and lunged onto the bus. Pushing her shoulders back, she paid her fare and then locked eyes with a tall, built twenty-something in the back of the bus. As she approached, he moved his gym bag off of the seat and she sat down right beside him, though the bus was nearly empty and there were vacant seats everywhere.

Following her onto the bus, the man in the leather skull cap sat down by the rear exit door. She breathed a long sigh before realizing that he was still watching her through the reflections on the window pane.

She got off the bus after he did and backtracked home in the rain.