Thursday, 27 February 2014

Damsel in distress (write of passage number thirty)

Younger daughter had a curling lesson with her school out at the Nepean Sportsplex.  The last time we were here was about eleven years ago when the Assessment Kindergarten joined in a district special needs swim meet -- which came to an abrupt halt when someone defecated in the pool.  Good times.

Anyway, the curling had gone well enough, and we now had a long bus ride back to the city centre for younger daughter's voice lesson.  We hurried into seats near the back of the long articulated bus, and watched a host of Algonquin College students clamber on at the Transitway station.  During mid-winter in Hades, you can't see out of the mud-caked windows, so I settled into people-watching.

That's when I noticed the girl halfway down the bus, very young with hair piled carelessly on top in a loose bun.  She was clinging to one of the yellow rails near where the bus bends to turn corners, and there was something bereft about the way she held on while trying to check her phone.  She kept looking up and about, as if watching for someone she knew -- or searching for an avenue of escape.  Every now and then, she dabbed at her enormous eyes and swiped her nose with the back of her hand. Then she'd focus back on her phone before once again gazing about her with an air of quiet desperation.

Finally someone got off, and she sat down in one of the sideways seats.  The lady who would have been sitting next to her abruptly got up and moved to the area directly below where younger daughter and I were.  Puzzled, I gazed back to where the young girl was now perched.  Her posture looked less distressed and she was texting busily with an oddly alert air.

We got off, leaving her to travel east, taking her crisis with her, whatever it was.

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