On the 22.
The Glynnis sisters rode my bus in silence. Born and raised in London, they settled in homes not far from one another, with jobs downtown in similar buildings mere minutes apart. They grew up as close to one another as sisters can be; though born years apart, they were as twins, supportive and intuitive and nurturing.
Separated by some long forgotten feud, they stood together in silence every morning as the sun came up. Both long middle-aged, they shared the same auburn hair surrounding the same face turning the same unwavering eye down the road, waiting for the 22 to come around the corner to take them downtown. They would board in silence, sit at separate ends of the bus, and make no eye contact. And so it went, weeks blurring into months, into seasons, into years.
Until that one morning, the usual bus missing its route, that all the usual passengers had to wait the additional thirty minutes for the next one, filling it to near overflowing. That morning the younger sister gave her seat to the elder, standing adjacent. Years of indifference and spite were at once gone with a moment of surprised silence, and the two words, “thank you.” And from then on, though they still stood waiting in silence, their wait for the 22 was contented and calm.
It was after a few months of sitting beside each other that the older Glynnis passed away. And though we all felt it, no one remarked on the hollow atmosphere, no one asked the one sister about the other. It went on like that for another year, the younger sister sitting alone in silent reverie on the bus, until one morning we passed right by the stop – no Glynnis’ waiting, no sisters heading toward their job in the city.
It isn’t actually known whether the surviving Glynnis passed away or decided to start living. But that feeling of contentedness has returned to the 22. And the sun always seems to break free of the morning clouds as we pass by that deserted bus stop, every morning.