It was Monday, and I was completely bored. I had never before needed to resort to using public transportation, but today seemed to be the worst day possible for me. My Volvo had unexplainably given up and the closest rental car shop had been recently closed due to a strike. I had to get to work somehow, at least until Rosalie, my dearest older sister, could inspect my usual and beloved car. So here I stood, waiting, in the rain, a simple black umbrella over my head, waiting for a bus that was supposed to have arrived six and a half minutes ago.
An old woman hobbled up beside me. Her plastic hair cover was almost comical, but the sweet lady never asked for a space under my umbrella. After not ten seconds had passed, my arm automatically moved, so that we were both hiding from the icy cold precipitation. She looked up at me, being about a foot shorter than I was, and smiled. Her face was wrinkled and old, but her eyes were deep brown and lively.
"Thank you kindly, dear." She said, her voice barely a whisper. She slowly rummaged through her purse and found an iPod. I blinked a few times, confused as to why the old lady would have one. She, however, simply turned it on and put an earbud in, with shaky gnarled hands. I could hear a soft piano piece floating out from the other earbud that dangled on her flower-printed dress.
"Clair de Lune?" I asked. She smiled at me.
"So we have a young man who listens to something other than songs with guitar solos that sound like cats in a microwave. Indeed. Debussy was quite a genius." She said and looked expectantly at me. I had to laugh at the analogy for heavy metal.
"Debussy is one of my favourite composers."
"Debussy was quite a genius." She repeated, then frowned. "That sounded familiar. Have we had this conversation before?"
I fought the urge to laugh at her absentmindedness, instead opting for a small smile and a headshake.
"I can safely say I have never had the pleasure of meeting with you before. This is my first time on a bus." I admitted. She smiled excitedly, showing some missing teeth.
"My dearest friend Alice has never been on a bus before. You're all so deprived. You must sit with me young man. The most astounding people travel on the bus sometimes." As if it had heard us, the bus pulled up instantly after, I gripped onto the woman's arm as I helped her into the bus. She smiled at me gratefully before dropping the fare into the machine. I did the same and followed the lady to a seat she deemed appropriate. There were only two other people on the bus, both teenagers, who looked like they were up to no good.
"So tell me about yourself, my dear." The woman smiled.
"My name is Edward, I am a lawyer."
"Yes, I thought you had that sharp useless look about you." Coming from any other person, I would have been mildly offended. Now it was just funny.
"I worked hard for that look. Eight years at Harvard and all." I joked. Her chocolate brown eyes were very calculating.
"My name is Marie. I work in the children's book store in Seattle. I have absolutely no regrets about not pursuing any career choice, so far anyway." She said. Honestly, how much time could the woman possibly have left? I chastised myself as soon as I thought it.
"That's good. I sometimes wish I had pursued a concert pianist instead of a lawyer, but I do enjoy what I do."
"Very smart that. I love the piano. Debussy is my favourite, pure genius."
"That he is." I agreed. I felt no impatience with the woman; she was far too gentle for that. And there was something almost too young about her eyes. She pulled her black canvas bag into her lap and sighed, looking out of the window.
"I do enjoy the rain. It's very lovely, don't you think? Like melting silver against the glass?" she asked. I looked and saw that too.
"Indeed, beautiful analogy."
"But also sad."
"How so?" I inquired.
"Silver is precious, for it to be melted means something precious was lost. That is a sad fact, don't you think?" she asked, her hands folded neatly in her lap. I nodded, thinking. Marie suddenly reached up and pushed on the button. "This is my stop I'm afraid. It was lovely to meet you Edward, the concert lawyer."
I didn't bother correcting her, but did smile and wish her well. I stared at the seat in front of me until my stop. It had a scratch in it, from someone's keys or something. The hum of the bus was very calming, and the rhythmic sound of the hydraulic wipers 'psht'ing every five seconds was oddly relaxing. The two teens got off and suddenly I was alone on the bus, save the driver, who was muttering to himself.
Marie was what I was thinking about, however. She was genuinely nice and a seemingly lovely – if slightly dotty – old lady, so why on earth did I have goosebumps on my arms? Something about her was just... off.
The rest of the day went smoothly, and I was able to get a ride home, from a co-worker. I sat in my home office reading a form, but not really taking in the words. My thoughts kept straying to a fragile looking old woman and her deceptively young voice and chocolate brown eyes. It was about an hour after I wrote about her in my journal that I fell asleep, the sounds of Clair de Lune whisking me into my subconscious state.
Rosalie was out of town. The car rental place workers were still on strike. This meant another day on the bus. I got ready for work quickly, getting dressed and grabbing my umbrella just in case. My briefcase was heavy and yet my mind was light. Perhaps I would again see Marie, the woman who had confused me so dramatically yesterday. Again the bus was late.
Today, instead of Marie, the person I wanted to talk to, there was a – for lack of a better word – hooker, beside me. She was extremely pretty, with blonde short straight hair, legs that were shapely, and pale skin, like ivory. She held a black canvas bag with an iPod tied around the handle. She was not dressed for the weather. As she started to step onto the bus, when it eventually arrived, she tripped, falling backwards into me. I barely managed to keep upright, and caught her, my hand making far too much contact with her skin.
She blushed as she stood, mumbling a thanks and dropped her fare into the machine. I followed suit. The same two teenagers from yesterday were on the bus, but were staring hungrily at the woman in front of me. She casually stopped and turned to face me. I got hit by the scent of strawberries and freesia.
"Would you mind if I sit with you? I'm not in the mood to fight off teenagers today." She said, her southern Texas accent sounding a little too coy. I almost disagreed, until the gentleman in me remembered something about saving damsels in distress and I nodded briefly. How wonderful. Instead of a cute chat with an old woman I get a casual chat with a hooker.
Her boots were leather, and her dark blue dress was practically not there, but she still sat like a lady, with her hands in her lap. She was chewing gum loudly, with her black canvas bag sitting between her ankles.
"So who are you?" she asked.
"Edward." I replied.
"Would ya stop acting like I'm a leper?" she asked frankly. I looked up to her face, instead of anywhere but her, and was about to apologize when my eyes matched up with the most familiar chocolate brown ones.
"Well?" she asked.
"I'm sorry, I'm just having a bad day." I replied. Complete honesty. I couldn't place where I had seen those eyes before.
"Yeah, me too. I've been hit on three times this mornin' and I ain't even at work yet."
I did not ask where she worked. What an awkward conversation that would have been.
"I've been having difficulties with my car. It makes being a lawyer, with obscene hours, hard to pull off. The bus is my only resort." I said.
"Yeah, well I work on King Street. You know where that is?" she asked. She stood up and reached over to get a map, giving me a glorious view of her backside. Through the thin material of the dress, I could tell she was wearing a thong.
"Yes, it's alright you don't need to show me, I know where it is." I said hurriedly, turning away, to look out of the window. She sat back down and smiled at me. Her smile lit up her whole face. She was bouncing her leg, and her face looked slightly flushed. Wonderful. She was probably high on something or another.
"Have ya ever noticed... how when the bus is empty, it sounds different?" she asked abruptly. I shook my head. "Ya, well if the bus is full, it doesn't hum as much. It kinda purrs. When it's empty it vibrates more I guess and is way louder. It's more fun then. You can also hear the hydraulic system if you're quiet. Oh my god, I never told you my name. It's Izzy. It's kind of a cool name you know? Almost sounds boyish though."
"Indeed." I agreed. "Edward though, is also an unusual name, at least in this era."
"Yeah, but I know weirder. Emmett for example, one of my best friends. Where'dya get a name like that huh? We're convinced his parents hated him." She laughed at her own joke and popped the bubble gum. I was hit by the sickly sweet scent of it.
I felt nothing but awkward. But again, there was that feeling of falseness. Something wasn't quite right about her. Her hair was fake, and I knew her natural colour was brown, as her eyebrows were dark brown. Her eyes were so dark and alive, it was odd. Her body was quite attractively appealing also. She was slender, but with curves, her chest and hips accented by the dress she was wearing. The flimsy piece of fabric was almost like a second skin, and it barely reached past the tops of her thighs. Lord forbid she would ever fall, for whatever person was standing near or far would get a glorious view.
We somehow continued the strained conversation until her stop. The place looked familiar, but I barely had time to ponder it, before the bus sped off. Why did it go slowly when I didn't want it to, and quickly when I wanted it to?
I heard the whistles and vulgar comments the boys made after she left, and closed myself off. Quite frankly I didn't care how 'effin hard' either of them were.
The rest of the day was as dull and unlucky as my morning bus ride unfortunately. I couldn't even get a ride with a co-worker that night and ended up calling a cab. The closest bus wouldn't have come for another 45 minutes and I could've walked home in that time. This time, my journal included my awkward conversing with the prostitute and my dreams were a little less than innocent that night.
Today I had little to no expectations of what I would find on the bus. To be honest, I was almost anticipating what could happen. I could meet Marie again, or Izzy, although I was hoping for the former. I might meet a client, or someone else I knew. Where before the bus had been a mundane necessity, now it almost excited me. How strange. As I thought about it, perhaps the break in my regular routine was what I had needed. I walked to the bus stop, looking around for signs of either of them. The only other person there, was a boy, a teenager, by the looks of it.
He had a Rubix cube out and was trying to finish it. He was exactly eight moves away from finishing it, but seemed at a loss of where to go next. His pale fingers grasped the coloured cube and rotated it, trying to see how to finish. He tapped a blue square that was in the middle of a sea of red ones and sighed heavily.
"You know how to do these?" he asked. His voice wasn't very deep and very quiet. I smiled and held out my hand.
"You're close." I said, taking the cube and slowly, so he could see, finished the cube. His chocolate brown eyes sparkled as I completed the puzzle, tossing him back the finished cube. He didn't catch it, and it landed, thankfully, in his black canvas bag. A little déjà vu light bulb went off in my head and I tried to concentrate.
"Are you... " Related to a hooker? Nice ending there. "Related to a woman named Izzy?" I asked. He blushed slightly and looked down at his feet.
"I know her yeah. We have the same parents." He said cryptically. He pulled out what looked suspiciously like a joint, and twisted it in his fingers. "You must be Eddie the lawyer."
"Indeed." I'd been saying that a lot lately. I couldn't see why I had been so talkative about my life so recently. It must've been those damn chocolate coloured eyes. Did everyone that rode the bus have dark brown eyes? When the devil appeared, I put my fare into the machine and casually snuck a look at the eyes of the two teens and the bus driver. Blue, hazel, green. The boy who sat across from me though, had those same damn eyes.
I took more time looking at him. He had a loose pair of jeans on, with a rip in the knee. He had simple black sneakers on and a loose black sweater with the 'Queen' emblem on the back. He had a black and green hat, casually tilted to the side. He had a dragon ring on his first finger, and a black wristband. The black canvas bag could've been a coincidence. He and his sister, or whatever Izzy was to him, could've gone to the same store for the bag.
Why was I overanalysing this? That insignificant nagging feeling I had in my head was nothing, surely. I drummed my fingers on the same seat I had sat in for the past two days. The same damn bus, the one with the scratch in the back of the seat, ran at the same damn time every day. The same two teenagers were in the back, the same driver in the front, the same me riding every morning. The only thing that seemed to change was the other lone passenger.
It didn't matter though. I had other things to worry about, like the workers on strike at the damn car rental place. Most of them wanted good lawyers. It was practically a hopeless case though. All I wanted was my own car back. I wanted to sit in my Volvo, feel the purr of the engine.
"You can feel that too huh?" the boy randomly asked. I looked over to him, knowing he was talking to me, although he was staring at the floor.
"The bus. It vibrates more with less people in it." He said.
"Yes I do believe so." Had Izzy pointed that out, or was it Marie? Marie. She too had chocolate brown eyes. She could be the boy's grandmother. If they all lived in the same house, it made sense that they would all travel on the same bus. That was reasonable, and entirely logical, so why did they all strike me as wrong? Looking more at the boy, I would say he was passably androgynous – neither male nor female in appearance. He didn't have strong features, but he did have a stubborn chin. His eyes were a little hard to judge, as they were half-closed, but he didn't strike me as particularly male. Then again, neither had I when I was younger. I was teased in school for being the 'girly boy' with the long eyelashes, flawless features and underdeveloped facial hair.
"You going somewhere bud?" he asked.
"Work." I replied as quickly as possible, hoping that the guy would get the hint and stop trying to talk to me. Old women and rambunctious hookers were one thing, but teenage boys, especially ones with drugs, were not exactly my idea of pleasant conversation. He got off at the same stop his sister had and I vaguely wondered if perhaps he was going to see her.
The rest of the day was uneventful. I ended up almost falling asleep at my desk, whilst reading an article about a student at the local university. Someone named Bella Swan was conducting some kind of experiment, nothing to do with real science, but something about psychology. It made for a boring read, but an excellent pillow.
On that day I was more tired than I had been in a while. Still, I managed to stumble out of bed and get dressed. On my way out of the door, my cell phone rang and I checked the number. It was Rosalie.
"Please tell me you can fix my car." I said, as soon as I opened the phone. She snorted at the other end.
"What, no hello? It's seven in the morning, a good morning would do." She retorted.
"I apologize, Rose, I wasn't thinking, I am in a bit of a rush this morning. How has your morning been thus far?" I asked, my tone not matching the scowl on my face. Of course, she couldn't see that, so it hardly mattered.
"Yes I'll be able to fix your car, but I won't have it to you until Tuesday, the parts are hard to find."
I sighed into the phone. Of course. That meant I had tomorrow and Monday to endure the long bus rides and waits at the bus stop, as well as the odd smells and stains on the leather seats of the metallic monster, and all of the lurching and swaying... ugh.
"Sorry Edward, it just won't happen." Rosalie said, not actually sounding very apologetic at all.
"Fine. It's only a few more days. How are things on your end?" I asked.
"It's great. I've met this hunk of a man. He's simply gorgeous. His name is Emmett."
Ding. Ding. Ding. Where had I heard that name before? My brain was working overtime, but, as I had not yet had coffee, any hopes of dredging up the location of that damn name were lost. I was at the bus stop by the time our conversation finished, and I truly wished I wasn't.
In front of me, looking like something that had crawled out of hell, was the weirdest gothic-punk I had seen. Her hair was black and perfectly straight, but obviously a wig. Her eyes were rimmed with layers upon layers of black mascara and eyeliner. Her lips were black and her face painted whiter than it already was naturally. She had a black dog collar on, with metal spikes, as well as layers upon layers of black clothing. Chains connected to different parts of her shirt, and one even to a braid she had in her hair. She wore black boots, with bangles around the ankle and had a snake tattoo running up her arm. She had piercings in her ears, her nose and two in her lip.
I would've backed away in fright and uneasiness. She practically screamed juvenile delinquent, but my eyes locked with the most startling pair of brown ones and my almost-movement ceased. No way in hell. They were the same chocolate brown eyes as Izzy's and the boy's and Marie's. I looked to the heavens, mentally asking God if he was playing some sort of cruel prank on me. There was no way this was the same person. This girl looked, and smelled completely different.
She followed me onto the bus when it arrived, late as usual, and I edged away nervously – the girl was kind of spooky. I could hear rock music blaring from her iPod. I sat in my usual spot, slightly unnerved when the girl sat close, staring at me.
I stared everywhere but at her. My eyes eventually glued themselves to the scratch on the chair in front of me.
"You always that shifty?" she blurted, picking at her black nails. I looked over briefly, meeting her scrutinizing gaze before adopting an innocent look.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Holy hell, you don't even know do you?" she laughed. It was a dark laugh that scared me slightly. I wish I carried some sort of weapon. I had to back up and be reasonable – I was worried about a girl, a teenage girl with some issues. I wasn't about to get mugged. Though I had to admit, the thought crossed my mind.
"I'm sorry if I've done anything to offend you." I said, standing and making my way to the doors of the bus. I was more ready to hop off the bus and walk than I was to sit with the angry teenager staring daggers into my head for the next ten minutes. She, however pushed past me.
"Sit your ass back down, old man. I'm leavin' I'm leavin'." She muttered, rolling her eyes. As the bus stopped she slung a black canvas bag over her shoulder and hopped off. I shook off the feeling of uneasiness and checked the street signs. King Street.
Wasn't that where Izzy worked? I was so confused right now, my mind buzzing with possibilities and then laughing at myself for thinking so critically and devotedly about passengers on a bus. The rest of the day went smoothly, but I did notice that I found myself looking out the window, in hopes of catching sight of one of the strange people I had met in the past few days.
"Hey buddy, you need a ride home?" Mike asked. I shook my head. I wanted to take the bus today. Perhaps I would bump into one of them.
My last day of being on the bus until Monday. I couldn't believe that the bus had literally become the highlight of my day. When had my job become so tedious that I looked forward to being jostled around, meeting too friendly and oddly familiar people? I hustled out of my apartment, down to the bus stop. I wasn't looking where I was going. I managed to bump into a young woman with her hair tied ferociously into a bun at the back of her head. She tumbled down and dropped her bags and something plastic.
"I'm so terribly sor-" I started. A cane. For blind people. It was what she had dropped. I looked at her, only to see black shades, that had slid slightly down her nose. Her hand moved out, feeling across the pavement for her cane. I pressed it into her hand.
"I am terribly sorry. I should've been paying attention, I should have..." I nearly said 'watched where I was going' how callous would that be? "...noticed you were there."
"It's alright. I didn't notice you coming either." So she had picked up on my word choice. She didn't seem offended by it though. She picked herself up and pushed the glasses up her face again. She pulled the black canvas bag she held, onto her shoulder and fished around in her pocket for some change. She ran her fingers over the edges of coins to determine how much she had in her hand.
Her pale fingers were slender, and clean. Her skin looked delectably soft, and was raised in slight goosebumps, where her coat didn't quite cover her wrists. Her outfit was simple enough and her shoes were comfortable and practical. Why did she seem so damn familiar?
I watched her as the bus pulled up. The doors opened and she tapped the step once with her cane before climbing up and on. She ran her hand up until she found the slot for the money and deposited her fare. Once there she found a seat directly across from where I would be sitting. She sat down, folding her cane into her bag.
I took my seat and tried not to stare. I honestly did. It was hard not to though. All sorts of rude questions flitted through my mind; have you been blind all your life or is it recent? Are you completely blind or mostly blind? Are your other senses magnified? I stopped my mind before too long and practically forced myself to look at my feet. I could've sworn, out of the corner of my eye, I saw her mouth turn upwards slightly.
"Cullen. Edward Cullen." I offered.
"Cullen, how did you come to be paying so little attention in the 'wee hours' of the morning?" she asked. I smiled.
"I've just been running a little late. I'm not used to waking up this early. Usually I have my car, and do not need to resort to public transportation." I admitted with a chuckle. She smiled.
"I like the mornings better. People are quiet, and yet everything else is far from it." She looked away, or rather, turned her head. "Do you have a busy job?"
"I'm a lawyer and it can get quite hectic sometimes." I said, still filtering my words in case I said anything that offended her. "How about you?"
"I work on King Street, it's very loud there." She smiled. There was something knowing in that smile. King Street... the place where Izzy worked. How odd. Where else did that name stick out though? Something about books...
"My name is Isabella." She said abruptly.
"Pleased to meet you." I said. I felt so awkward there, monitoring every word I said. What would I say in parting? Hope to see you again? No. Hope to bump into you again? Was that too obvious?
"Would you tell me when we're nearing King?" she asked. I nodded, then remembered the situation and mumbled an affirmative. When we got there I let her know. As she climbed off of the bus I said farewell:
"Hope to meet you again." I said, sounding slightly awkward. She yelled her agreement as she stepped off the bus. I wondered idly about her perhaps getting hit by a car. She just disappeared from my view as we turned the corner. I sat running my hands through my short bronze hair. That was slightly awkward. That was slightly more than slightly awkward.
When I got off the bus today and walked into work I had a call waiting.
"Hello, Edward Cullen speaking."
"Hello Mr. Cullen, my name is Bella Swan, would it be alright if I asked you a few questions? It's for..."
"I know what it's for." I'd read something in the paper about her. A social experiment. I did not have time to be a social experiment.
"Then may I- "
"No." I said, sounding impatient. I had a lot of work to do. Then my secretary slapped me. Alice her name was. She scolded me for being so rude and abrupt.
"Where the hell is the normal Edward Cullen? This one is an asshole." She said, sitting back down and glaring at me. I did not want her angry at me for the next few days. I focused my attention back on Bella.
"Very well. What did you have in mind?" I asked, resigned.
"Just two questions: Do you think you judge people based on appearances?"
"Absolutely not. I treat everybody equally and fairly. I'm a lawyer, I need to be impartial, especially when it comes to prospective clients." I answered.
"Is that your final answer?" she asked. Why did her voice sound amused? It was a completely honest answer
"Absolutely." I affirmed. I heard a long sigh.
"Would you like to take me to lunch?" she asked. Today was booked and next week I had no planned time available for a lunch date. The weekend would have to suffice. Alice was still glaring at me.
"Would Sunday, at noon be acceptable?"
"Perfect. Let's meet at the University Federation Hall."
I knew the location. Wonderful, I thought to myself sarcastically. All I could hope was that she would be at least half-pretty, then perhaps Sunday would not be such a disappointment.
There was nothing much to report on Saturday. I stayed home, cleaned, worked a little. Ate, cleaned that up, went for a run and slept. My Saturdays were generally uneventful. My dreams were not as uneventful. A pair of taunting brown eyes hovered above me, so familiar and connected, yet so unfamiliar and unconnected.
I woke up with a slight feeling of dread. I was supposed to meet a university student for lunch. She had been conducting some sort of social experiment, which I had no idea about, and was now going to either tell me about it or ask my opinion. I had no idea if she was pretty, ugly, sane or insane, all I knew was her name: Bella. If it were not for Alice, I wouldn't be in this predicament.
Why did I give in so much to my secretary? She was a lovely lady, a little hyper and freakishly organized at times, but a loyal companion and devoted assistant. To say I was her boss would be true, but to say I told her what to do, would be lying to an extreme. She told me what to do. I accepted that fact because Alice was like a sister to me.
So, at lunch, I ended up in a dark pair of jeans and a white, cleanly pressed, button down shirt. Not too casual, yet not too dressy. I walked to my destination, not caring for the bus today. I walked down the street, wondering why this Bella would want to talk to me. I should have read that article in the paper more clearly. When was that... Wednesday? Some sort of sociology or psychology experiment. Why would she need a lawyer for that? Perhaps her subjects were complaining, or filing for some legal benefits. I found the diner and then wondered how the hell I was supposed to know who I was looking for.
When I entered, a blonde waitress sauntered over to me.
"Edward Cullen?" she asked, looking me up and down hungrily. I nodded, praying to whatever deity I could that this was not Bella Swan. She motioned for me to follow her and I did. She led me to a booth and I sat down across from a brown haired lady, staring out of the window. She didn't acknowledge my presence. Once I was comfortable, and the waitress had left, the woman turned.
My heart stopped.
Waited a bit.
It was those eyes. The chocolate brown ones I had been so obsessed with the past week. Beside Bella was a black canvas bag, with an iPod poking out of it. Around her neck she had the dog collar, she was wearing the dress of the prostitute, and yet had the hoodie of the boy. She had the coat beside her that Marie had donned and the black shades of the blind person on her head. It took me a few seconds to realise that it was me. I was the experiment. I was the subject. She had become five different people, greeting me every day, talking to me, learning about me and my reaction to people.
"Do you think you judge people based on appearances?" she asked, knowing I had recognised her. I opened my mouth to repeat the same spiel I had yesterday, about treating everyone equally and fairly, without bias, but nothing fell from my lips. My week flashed before my eyes.
I treated Marie with respect and warmth.
I treated Izzy with disapproval and discomfort.
I treated the boy with uneasiness and ignorance.
I treated the gothic punk with repulsion and fear.
I treated the blind woman as if I were walking on eggshells.
"Yes." Came the answer from my lips. She smiled in acknowledgement. How incredible. I knew nothing about this woman and already I had the highest respect for her. Not only was her acting incredible, she was so versatile with her personas and she had taught me a substantial lesson about how I treated people. All because of a bus.
"I chose you that first day on my regular bus, in secret. When you revealed that you were a lawyer, I knew you would make the perfect subject. You are supposed to be unbiased, and yet. You weren't. I knew it as soon as you looked at the teenage boys in the back of the bus. So every day I made it a point to talk to you, or to indicate that I wanted a conversation." Bella said, smiling.
What would I have thought of her, had she approached me directly and asked if I wanted to be part of her experiment? She was pretty, with 'come to bed' eyes, and not appearing physically strong. Her voice was quiet and shy. I would have probably rejected her instantly. I would have thought she didn't have what it took to do a proper experiment, or would have thought she was trying an elaborate scheme to woo me.
"Your reaction to each type of person differed. If, as Marie, I told you I liked classical music, reading and dogs, you would've accepted it instantly. If I'd have done that as Izzy, you would've assumed I was lying, to try and get into your pants. As the boy, you would've thought it odd I listened to classical music at such a young age, as a blind person, it would be logical, as a goth, you would have laughed at me. As me now, you aren't sure."
She was right. I sat, my mouth agape, wondering how I had not seen all of this before.
"I wanted to prove that everyone is biased, everyone judges everyone else, no matter how much they think they don't. Even I do, though a lot less than I did." She relaxed and looked at me. "Do you want to say something or can I tell you why I chose to do this in the first place?"
"Please tell, I'm still trying to catch up right now." I admitted, leaning back so I was resting heavily against the back of the booth. Bella averted her brown eyes and blushed lightly. She bit her lip before speaking again.
"The first time I took the bus, it was pretty crowded. I ended up sitting beside a scary looking guy. He was covered in grease, a little scuffed up, and his black clothing and large muscles freaked the hell out of me. He looked like he could snap me in half, just by accident. He also had this murderous look on his face and an iPod in, that was blaring heavy rock. I wanted to be anywhere but there at that point. I sat, not looking at him, not touching him, and trying to not be scared. The next stop the bus pulled up to, a woman, young, but in a hurry climbed on. She told the driver she had just lost her transfer ticket."
"She was searching around her purse for money, looking like she was about to cry, when suddenly, the guy beside me got up, and reached into his pocket. He dug out the necessary change, and then offered the lady his seat. No one else on the bus had even considered doing such an act of charity, yet the man who I had been cowering beside not a moment before, was helping her."
Bella looked down at her hands which were folded on the table.
"Turns out, his name was Emmett. He worked as a mechanic, hence the grease, and had just stopped a random guy from being mugged, hence the blood and bruises. He is one of my closest friends now. He is such a teddy bear, yet looks like he could easily kill a grizzly bear. On that day, I began to rethink my view on people in general. I'm sorry I've dragged you into all of this, but a recognized lawyer would be a much better subject than a nobody."
She looked back at me, apologetically. Her chocolate brown eyes met mine and I couldn't help but laugh. She was so right. She was right about me, about people. She had run this experiment, simply to prove something we should have all already known. She had caught me red handed, and was now trying to rectify her actions. If anyone should be explaining or trying to apologize it was me. She smiled back at me and reached forward to squeeze my hand.
"Would you understand what I meant if I said I was only human?" I asked. She nodded, she was staring at me frowning though. "What?"
"I'm trying to figure out what you are. You don't seem angry, you don't seem relieved, you seem almost enlightened."
"Wasn't that what you were going for?"
"Yes, but I didn't expect you would be so darn happy about it."
"I have no idea how to explain what I'm feeling right now."
How to sum it all up? She had proved I was prejudiced and biased and a hypocrite, and yet I was innately happy. She had brightened up my boring repetitive life without saying more than fifty words to me each day. Bella Swan had managed to take me for a ride when nobody else would even slow down the damn car. I reached forward and kissed her hand, revelling in the warmth of her skin and marvelling at the shock of electricity that passed between us. She blushed. I smiled. I could sense the beginning of a long and interesting relationship.
At that point I got a text from Rosalie.
Bad news. The car parts aren't coming for another week.
I honestly didn't think I'd mind taking the bus anymore.
AN - The whole murderer looking guy saving a young woman actually happened to me. It inspired this story. Way to go Murderer dude! The lesson here - never judge a book by it's cover. (And avoid clichés like the plague) If anyone laughed at that - please let me know. If you don't know why you should be laughing, check the definition of cliché and then the phrase 'avoid it like the plague'. Love you all!