Shapes and shadows danced in distorted cacophony making it difficult to focus.
Although bright lights of stores trimmed with Christmas decorations and twinkling street lamps would have painted a far more joyful scene beyond the glass, the water streaking down the pane cast a sobering edge from where She sat in darkness. Deciphering exactly what lay beyond the bus was made more difficult by a grubby smear at her eye level – perhaps from a child who had occupied the seat earlier in the day – distorting her view. She fancied a child may have knelt up on the seat, rested their face and hands against the window as they peered out, absorbing every detail of the outside world in gleeful anticipation of their arrival at a destination.
It would have been sunny then. The weather had turned very rapidly this evening.
Eventually, the shifting colours and shards of light began to take shape and materialise as human forms. Young women in heels, arms laden with shopping bags, handbags, gym bags, laptops, umbrellas and more. Men striding confidently along, raising arms and umbrellas sporadically to avoid colliding with those who, finding themselves without umbrellas at an inopportune moment, were running blindly for any type of awning, regardless of size.
A trembling hand appeared in the forefront of the bustling scene, and She observed an ageing woman seated at the bus stop just outside Her window. The woman was replacing a cap on a small bottle, but her hands rattled so violently she could barely bring cap and vessel together. In one hand was an electronic cigarette. The device resembled more an elaborate pen than a modern-day smoking implement.
As She raised her eyes to rest Her gaze on the woman’s face She was surprised to discover, at second look, features much younger than expected. That’s not to say the woman was young, but rather, the stoop of her shoulders and the haggard poise of her fingers belied the youth of her face.
Or perhaps it was the other way around.
Would She prefer to have a youthful face, or a youthful body? What a strange thing to wonder.
The image of the older woman melted into a blur of shadow and shards of light as the bus pulled forward onto the road.
Perhaps, neither, She pondered. A youthful mind, is surely far more important.