WARNING: Subjects discussed here may be offensive for some readers. For that, I make no apologies.
Witness Account 1:
I first saw her sitting at the bus stop, she had short dyed hair and wore an oversized dark sweater with a gray patch across the front, she hadn’t looked up when the bus had stopped, I remember being momentarily grateful for what I had at the time mistaken for a rare act of patience. There should always be a sign that says people on the bus get to get off first before the people coming on. The girl never even moved, she just sat there, hands clasped in her lap. I had rushed on to my busy day.
I did not think of that girl until much later when I stepped out to find coffee. The sun was high in the sky and the day looked bright.. I saw her then, the patch on the sweater was unmistakable. She was standing at the side of the road, as one would when waiting to cross, except she couldn’t have been less than 40 metres away from the crossing.
The lights changed and I joined the melee crossing the street. The coffee shop was right across; I dashed in, smiled, and asked for my usual. It was a short wait, same as always. My name was called and I went to retrieve the coffee and that is when it must have happened, the hand that had been holding out my coffee had been withdrawn leaving my coffee to fall to the counter, open and splash everywhere. I had looked up in irritation, only to see the waitress was shaking, her hands clasped on her mouth, stifling a scream. The cashier next to her was pointing. I followed their eyes to the commotion outside. It seemed like there had been an accident. Then I saw her, lying there in the middle of the street, the gray patch on her sweater quickly changing colour.
Witness Account 2:
I don’t know what to tell you, she gave me her seat, a bit presumptuous really, the idea that because I am not a 19 year old ballerina then I must be completely incapable of standing in line and waiting for a bus like everyone else. But, the sun was out and the spot shaded, so when she sprung up from her seat, I gladly took it. I thanked her. If she responded, I did not hear it, she just walked away, further up the street.
I felt bad for her, it couldn’t have been comfortable in that sweater, in this heat, and really there was no reason for her to be standing there, so far away from the bus stop. I decided I would offer her the seat back. So, when the next bus came and there was plenty of room, I walked up to her. She was a little further now, past the crossing, and she stood so still. I touched her only once, gently like. I wasn’t trying to startle her, but she was a bit shocked, she drew away from me, her eyes so dark and empty like. Then she just walked out into the street. Mind you, I didn’t push her, no one did. She was just a crazy one.
The girl in the oversize sweater
Its funny isn’t it. How the sun is always so fucking bright when the world around you is falling apart. I do not need another reminder that my life is meaningless. I should get on the bus, go home, but what good will that do, sit through another episode of These are the thousand ways in which you disappoint us. How stupid I had been to think this would work. The city, a world of opportunity, a place where no one would care that I was different, a place I could start over, but they do, and they want to cut and prod and take little stupid notes. Well, no longer!
I will not be anyone’s experiment anymore, and I don’t have to be Mommy’s perfect little boy, in his perfect little box. God, this city is crowded, and they are always staring. There is an old lady here now, did she follow me from the bus stop? I can guess what she wants to know, what they always want to know, am I a boy or a girl, what is under the shirt. It never ends, I will give them something to stare at.
This was always the plan anyway, go out on my own terms.
I step out, there is hooting, some yelling and screaming. The sun is so bright and warm. I couldn’t have chosen a better day.
I first wrote the little story above as part of writing exercise where we had to tell a story from three different perspectives.. something about speaking in different voices. I did the exercise but have been coming back to it from time to time wondering if I should perhaps be working on a longer version of the story.