How a day starts, is really no indication of how it will end. It isn’t even an indication of how it will be a couple of hours later. Sometimes, things come at you, right out of the blue. They might have been talking about the sky when they coined that phrase, but for me, it has come to mean something completely different.
It had been a truly bad day. It started with reprimands and scoldings dished out by the management. Suddenly attendance paperwork became more important than teaching. The once interesting office atmosphere had become toxic. The day that usually seemed long, stretched to a marathon. There were many casualties, the most interesting of which was the Christmas party.
With a heavy shrug and look into the darkening sky, I boarded the bus home. While I couldn’t believe anyone on the bus had had a worse day than I, looking at their faces, I was sure some had had an equally horrible one. There was little eye contact, and even the obsessive texters seemed to be mashing those buttons or screens harder.
I buried myself in my book, but found it hard to concentrate. I read the words, but they weren’t speaking to me. Thoughts of changing jobs, changing cities, changing continents swirled in my head. Maybe it was time.
It was at that moment that life decided to throw me a curve ball.
I hadn’t noticed her get on the bus, but once she was one, she captured most of my attention. Before I go to far, I should tell you that this isn’t a love story. It has a romantic undertone, but that is most likely due to my romantic nature, rather than hers. This also is less of a story and more of a moment.
It wasn’t her looks, because I couldn’t tell you want she looked like. I can’t remember what she was wearing. I couldn’t even swear to a hair colour. I don’t remember what stop she got on at, and I cannot recall what stop she got off at.
Instead, what I remember most vividly is that she was holding a huge number of blue helium filled balloons. Although they were covered by a large white bag, seeking to protect them from the rather wintery evening outside no doubt, their brilliant blue colour shone through.
Many questions raced into my head. Where was she going? What were the balloons for? Who or what reason had sent her on a quest for helium filled balloons on such a cold evening? Why that particular number of balloons? As you might guess, a passenger holding balloons is not an ordinary happening on my commute.
Finding no answer I made up my own story. She had been given the balloons at an office party, celebrating her 5 year anniversary. Her co-workers had made speeches praising her efforts and accomplishments. They had given her gifts, some carefully chosen and intricately wrapped, others just stolen office supplies wrapped crudely in surplus fax paper. Even the cute guy in sales had smiled at her. She had cried a bit and hugged more than a bit. She felt part of the family.
My reverie was broken when my stop was announced. The air was cold as the bus doors opened, but I stepped out anyway. The balloons and their holder were long gone. I chuckled in spite of myself, crossed the street against the red light and headed home.