Number Two

    This afternoon I jumped on a number two bus going to town. The bus was reasonably filled and while validating my bus card I noticed that my favorite seats in the back of the bus were taken. I picked my ticket and went to sit two or three rows away from where I usually sit.

    It is there across the aisle from me was sitting a young man and a girl both in their early twenties. She seemed to be half asleep as her head was leaning against the window and her eyes were closed. The young man’s blond hair was wet. I deduced they were probably coming from a beach.

    There was nothing outstanding about this couple, except for one thing. The young man was holding a book in his hands and he was reading it out loud for the girl to hear. I couldn’t see the book’s title or hear what he was reading. All I heard was a flow of pleasant intonation carrying a story. The young man was reading at a steady pace, making an effort to animate dialogues from the book. It is there I realized that the girl wasn’t asleep. She was in fact listening as the young man’s voice was blending with a noise from the bus’ engine. It was a very unusual sensation to be a part of that scene.

    After some five or six minutes the young man pressed the button demanding the bus to stop at the next stop. He then carefully put away the book he was reading in his backpack. He and the girl got up and while holding their hands got off at the Longueville Road.