The Bag

She sprinted.

A bus paused twenty meters ahead, at the little metal awning marked “12A, ” and spit out a pair of silhouettes.

She extended her left arm at the double-decker, hoping that the driver would notice and wait. Dashing as quickly as her short legs would carry her, a weight suddenly released from her shoulder. A red metal canteen spilled out of her black cloth bag and onto the street, barely a foot from the headlight. Her school papers slid out, scattering onto the brick sidewalk.

She panicked.

Grasping at her papers, she silently cursed the bag. A wave of embarrassment flushed her cheeks as she attempted to grab all her things at once. Her right hand reached for the scattered pages as her left hugged what little she recovered to her chest.

A hand appeared, scattered papers gathered in its hand. She looked up, and a warm face greeted her with his kind eyes. Humbled by his kindness, the young woman brushed her hair out of her face and thanked the man profusely, then shuffled her way into the bus.

Apologising and thanking the bus driver, her hand grabbed her wallet from the front pocket of her loose grey trousers. The toot of the card-reader confirmed her bus payment, and she stuffed her wallet back into her pocket, ready to find a seat. The driver asked her if she had picked everything up, so she peered out the door and into the dark night.

“Yes, I should have everything.”

She exhaled.

Climbing up the stairs, with arms full, she plopped down on a pair of empty seats in the front. The bag was useless now; both straps ripped from the seams. She moped as she reorganised her papers; this bag lasted through no more than eleven months of medium use.

Still, her heart was warmed. The driver had waited for her, and even made sure she was alright. He was a rare breed.

She settled into the seat and closed her eyes. Soon, she’d be home.

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