Every day Jonathan greeted the bus driver with a smile and a nearly inaudible good morning as he stepped into the doorway. He caught the bus just two stations away from the beginning of the line so it was always pretty vacant, except for a little girl who’s recently been sitting sat at the very back of the bus everyday. ‘Most likely a latch key kid’ Jonathan would often think to himself and then go about his routine of walking to the middle of the bus dusting off a seat, sitting down and then slowly sip his coffee as he gazed out the window at the world going by. This morning however had something different in store for the mild mannered soft spoken gentleman for shortly after he sat down and had his first taste of coffee, the driver ran over a deep pot hole that rumbled the bus with the force of a contained earthquake that caused Jonathan to grip the cup tightly popping the lid and spilling all over himself.
“Sorry” said the bus driver as he recovered from the rumble himself as he pulled up to the next bus stop. Jonathan stood up brushed himself off and quickly found another seat not covered in coffee at the back of the bus as other patrons boarded. His new seat was not positioned to where he could easily look out of the window, but instead it was facing the little girl that was on the bus before him.
Not being one for odd interactions Jonathan attempted to gaze out of the window behind him but found it awkward twisting his body and angling his neck without strain. So he took a deep breath, repositioned and looked straight ahead in the direction of the little girl which as if by a gentle force caused him to look directly at her.
She wore pink rain boots with a raincoat to match, her hair was black; pulled into a ponytail and her eyes were a deep brown that of an old oak tree. Around her neck she wore a brass pendant in the shape of trumpet that looked an awful lot like the one he bought his wife that had passed away some months ago after a battle with cancer. He bought it to remind her of the night they met at a jazz club after he performed “There is no Greater Love” by Miles Davis. She loved to hear Jonathan play, in fact that night is why she fell in love with him but during her struggle with the sickness he hardly found the strength to do so and following her death not at all.
Lost in this haze of thought Jonathan hadn’t taken notice that his stop had come and that already off the bus. He crossed the street then turned to look back at the bus to see if he could still see the little girl, but she had vanished. In the window however read the word “Play”.
He carried her memory.