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Direction - A Short Story by Nick Weingartner

Direction - A Short Story by Nick Weingartner

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Published by Nick Weingartner
A story about an encounter at a bus stop.
A story about an encounter at a bus stop.

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Published by: Nick Weingartner on Jul 22, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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07/15/2013

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It was a not-so busy day. Probably some time around the fall, but the leaves weren’t turned yet so I can’t tell you that with any certainty. Regardless, it was a nice day,and you can trust me when I tell you that.He was sitting on the bench. He looked like a Tommy. Or a Brad. Probably a Tommy though… yes. Definitely a Tommy.He didn’t look lonely, but not too happy either. Stagnant. He was reading the Times, his eyes casting out wishes that he was there, where things mattered, where things were happening… the modern day Rome. Nobody cared about the villagers until they raided the place. And even then, it’s still
the fall of Rome 
, not the
rise of whoever 
, hethought.She, on the other hand, looked nominally happy. Her eyes didn’t carry enoughenergy to make it past nominally, but something tells me that a small Dark Roast coffee with extra cream and no sugar would do the trick.She didn’t read the paper. It was all full of stories that were sad and meaninglessto her. If someone from USA Today wrote an article on how to get her Mom to call her abit less, then she’d read it… probably.She looked like Jessica. Tommy was still sitting on the bench, reading his paper, when Jessica came andsat next to him. He was waiting for a bus, I think, and she looked like she was too. Helooked over at her, but kept the whole operation tightly secured, making it look like agenuine gaze down the street towards the imaginary on-coming bus.
 
Of course, the bus never came, and he went back to read his paper. I couldn’t seehis face too well, but I imagine that it looked like a deer in the headlights. God, I hatethat phrase. Apologies. I can’t think of anything else.She, on the other hand, was looking directly at him, for at least four seconds.Four
real 
seconds, not the figurative,
only-a-sec 
type. Four seconds is a long time if youlook at your wristwatch.After a few moments, (note: I use moments here because I lost track of time. My daughter called a needed something, then a homeless man asked to use my cell phone) hehad put away the paper. Well, not completely, but folded it to take up less space andplaced it on his lap. It’s a tactic I’ve used before… he was opening himself up to theopportunity of talking to her, without committing fully to the endeavor.She crossed her legs, in that elegant way that women do when they’re on talk shows, and shrugged her shoulders just a little bit. I thought it looked like she wasopening herself up to the conversation as well, but I’ve never been in-tune to the readingof women’s actions, and usually when I come up with a hypothesis it blows up in my face.It happened that way with my first wife. But, I don’t want to really talk about that rightnow… I usually save my material for Sundays at 4 with Dr. Richards, and I would hate tohave nothing to say this week.A bus came, and people rushed their way in like Tickle Me Elmo was waitinginside. Neither of them left the bench. He looked like he was getting the balls to talk toher, so I used the rush of people to move a bit closer. Please don’t judge me.It was then she spoke.“Hi.”

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