Trying, Failing, and Trying Again

Mabrey sat quietly on the back of a bus to Wal-Mart, having no other means of transport. No friends were available, and the blue bike she had once enjoyed was stolen a few months prior. Mabrey desperately squeezed her body into the smallest position that lent her the least desirable feeling of uneasiness. After pulling her thick winter coat tighter to prevent the cold dancing around her neck, she took a chance to survey her surroundings through half lidded eyes.

The sky beyond steel framed windows was dismal and pregnant with snow, and she shuddered at the thought of ever setting foot out of the bus to rejoin that frigid temperature. She was never fond of the sharp bite of cold setting into her bones. The feeling always reminded her that death was always nearby. Mabrey shook her head and then observed the equally sullen faces of the people around the bus. There were people sleeping in the folds of their winter clothes, some college students making a ruckus about a certain teacher, and some people with stony faces undoubtedly trying to be as unsocial as Mabrey wanted to be. She hoped to have a car soon.

Mabrey sighed only to have the breath catch in her throat when someone stirred in front of her. The girl let the rest of her sigh escape through her teeth, irritated by her ability to jump at anything. But now that she was aware of the occupant in front of her, she decided to take a few minutes people watching to pass the time. From the looks of it, the person was a male. He wore a baggy black coat, a scratchy gray scarf with a matching hat, and smooth sunglasses.

Sunglasses? Mabrey thought. What a very peculiar person. She smiled shyly. Who am I to judge people by their looks? The age old worry of having average physical attributes crept up on her. Plain, long dusty brown hair, a petite body lacking any curves even though I'm eighteen, and a pale complexion constantly stabbed at her. Her only appealing quality was piercing light green, almost yellow eyes. Which isn't much.

Old taunts from middle and high school about her childish physique tiptoed at the edges of Mabrey's thoughts until she forgot her listing game. She found the memories more comedic than hurtful.

The bus's sudden stop startled Mabrey. She blindly clutched for her seat as her initial energy threw her forward. Unfortunately, she was too late.

"Ah, am I that dashing that ladies throw themselves at me?" The mysterious black coated man chuckled as Mabrey found herself in his lap. She shot up and out of his reach, blushing.

"I'm quite clumsy. I'm sorry!" Mabrey blurted. The man's covered face gave her no clue of what he was thinking. She found it disturbing. Apparently, the man did not.

"Oh, please don't apologize, little cat. We shall dismiss the incident as a compliment." He stood and laughed in a silky lilt. The man took her purple gloved hand. "In fact to repay you, I will escort you out to prevent any further acts of clumsiness. I don't want you paying another man with one of your special compliments."

"Thank you, but you really don't need to. I'll be fine." Mabrey protested, her heart lurching when he gently tugged her towards the exit. The college kids started to laugh, and her stomach flipped with embarrassment.

"Too late, I already have you." The man sounded like he was beaming under his scarf. Mabrey frowned, not liking the concept of this person laughing at her. Biting her lip, she decided to concentrate on his back. His shoulders were broad and his hips were narrow. He could have been a perfect model for a under cover spy.

"Here we are." He turned and took off his sunglasses. Most likely to see her better. Mabrey tried not to feel like a test subject from the way his gaze sized her up.

The all familiar Wal-Mart signs glowed everywhere due to the holiday season. Eager red lights passed over the man's face. The skin around his eyes became illuminated, and turned a slight purple. Mabrey blinked, and brought her free hand up to her face. The glove there had slipped to reveal a strip of her own usually pink colored skin. Against the lights, she saw red. She glanced up again, this time to observe the man's eyes. Both were a writhing golden color with cat slits. The man noticed her reaction and chuckled.

"Contacts, little cat, just contacts. Not that I can say the same of your eyes. They are very dazzling indeed." Mabrey subtly slipped out of his grip, only half convinced. "May I ask the name of the wonderful little lady who enchanted me in only a few minutes?"

"It's Mabrey. Thank you again, umm."

"Mara…Mark. Just Mark."

"Well then, thank you, Mark. I hope that we do run into each other again." Not really. He's just a bit too weird for me. As if he read her thoughts, Mark replied soon after.

"Oh, I'm sure we will." And with that, he placed his sunglasses on and blended into a nearby crowd. Mabrey felt that shudder she associated with the cold clutch onto her from hearing his words. She, too, made herself invisible to the crowd in order to survive her night of shopping.

How did I get myself into this mess?

This is a re-upload. I edited it only a little. Please enjoy.