Pairs

They would walk onto the bus everyday at the same time and at the same bus stop. I couldn’t tell how old they were because they always sat at the front of the bus, usually in the same seats. Laughter was the medicine for all their woes. I never caught what they were laughing and joking about or even what they spoke about, but their bond was without question one of great friendship.

One morning, one of the two girls walked onto the bus and sat down alone. Initially, I wasn’t sure it was her because I was so used to seeing her as part of a pair. The bus was silent and like any other that rolled into town on cold, wet mornings. I speculated about the whereabouts of her partner but didn’t come up with a suitable reason for her disappearance. Maybe she found a new best friend, maybe she moved away, and I wondered even the worst of fates but didn’t think more about it. I didn’t really know them. She just stared out of the window, sometimes with her headphones wrapped around her ears. But from that day on, she walked alone and sat by herself, without the same smile and joy she had enjoyed on those little trips with her friend.

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