A Brief Encounter At The Bus Stop! Late IP
A Brief Encounter At The Bus Stop! Late IP 1154 words
Laura sat outside in the unexpectedly warm April sunshine drinking her coffee on the patio in her mother’s garden. She loved sitting in this particular spot where she could just see the bend in the river as it meandered towards the sea. Sitting in the sunshine, drinking her coffee, she found her self going over the events of that cold Winter's night last December when things had finally come to a head with Rod.
She had asked him a simple question without really thinking what the answer might be. All she had said was ‘Who were you with last night?’ She had seen him in the pale moonlight at the bus stop with a woman she didn’t recognize. At first, he didn’t answer but then he looked at her with such a strange, sad expression as he answered ‘Only the lonely ask questions like that.’ She was unnerved by the accuracy of his description. He was right. She did feel lonely.
The truth was although she had given her heart to him she was never quite sure about his feelings for her. She doubted him because he always made excuses when she suggested they see each other more often but he never really explained why. She couldn’t help wondering what was the reason for his reluctance.
Well, she found out the reason that bleak night last December when she was surprised to see him standing at the bus stop. She was about to call him when he was joined by a woman whom she did not recognize as one of their friends.
‘Ooh, lucky Marks was still open, I was desperate for a wee,’ the woman said.
Laura quickly found a shop doorway where she could watch them without being seen As she looked the woman suddenly threw her arms around Rod’s neck. He didn’t back away yet he had always made a point of telling her he didn’t like public displays of affection. Once, when she was particularly happy because she had landed a new job, she forgot the golden rule, but he very quickly pushed her away.
She never made that mistake again, yet here he was letting this woman do exactly what he had told Laura not to do. That was painful. Laura could feel the tears welling up as she withdrew from the shadows of the shop doorway and tearfully made her way home.
Was Rod two-timing her? Was he committed in some way to this woman whoever she was? The questions came fast and furious as she tried to make sense of what she had so recently witnessed. It was still quite early so she decided when she got home she would ring him on his mobile. She didn’t have the courage to question him face to face but by phoning his mobile she could put all the questions that were now racing through her mind. At least she would get to the truth and know for good or bad where she stood.
Heart pounding, she dialled the number, then became flustered when she heard his voice.
‘Laura, what do you want?’
‘I...I want to know Who were you with last night?’
‘Not that again. Why do you always think I’m up to something?'
‘Well, are you?’
‘No, I’m not. What do I have to do to convince you?’
‘Tell me who that woman was?’
‘The woman I saw at the bus stop. The one who threw her arms around you. Something you told me you disliked.
‘Yes, you told me not to show outward affection in public. You said you found it embarrassing.’
‘And I do.’
‘Well, can you tell me why you didn’t seem to mind her doing precisely that?’
‘If I have to explain everything I do then you should ask your self do we really have a future?’
‘I couldn’t agree more,’ said Laura and with that, she ended the call and now after all these months it looked like, that night, she had also ended the affair.
She hadn’t heard from Rod since then but she missed him dreadfully. She had thrown away any chance of happiness with him because of what she now recognized was jealousy. Jealousy, that gut-wrenching emotion that had ruined her life. Her last boyfriend, before he dumped her, had said he couldn’t live with her constant questioning about who he was with. Though on that occasion, she hadn’t been wrong because he had been seeing someone. Her sister.
Now as she sat sipping her coffee she came to a decision. She was not going to let jealousy ruin her life. She would phone Rod and ask him to forgive her. She couldn’t just let him slip from her life without making some effort to explain why she was so jealous. Growing up, she had always felt overshadowed by her good looking and clever sister, Angela. Laura’s sister had always been their parent’s pride and joy. In their eyes, she could do no wrong. So lacking confidence and feeling insecure had been the reason why she felt no one could love her. She felt she wasn’t pretty enough or clever enough and so was jealous because Rod had the ability to draw people towards him like a magnet. He could make connections so he was soon a popular member of any group he joined.
However, this time she resolved that she wasn’t going to slink away and nurse her wounds. No, this time she was going to fight her corner. So, heart pounding, she tremulously dialled the number.
‘Laura, is that you?’
‘Yes, Rod, it’s me.’
‘What do you want?’ His voice sounded cold and forbidding
‘I want to apologize and ask if there is any chance we could get back together. I realize I was jealous and suspicious.’
‘But why were you jealous? What had I ever done that would make you feel that way?’
‘No, Rod, it was me. It was all in my head. When I saw that woman throw her arms around you I was consumed with jealousy.’
His voice softened as he said ‘Well, let me put your mind at ease. That woman was my nurse and I walked her to the bus stop after treating her to a celebratory meal because that was the day I had been given the all-clear.’
‘The ‘all clear?’
‘Yes, that was why I resisted your suggestions about seeing more of each other. I couldn’t see more of you without alerting you to the fact that I was having chemotherapy. I didn’t want to worry you and I didn’t feel I could commit until l was sure of the outcome.
‘I don’t know what to say.’
‘Just say yes.’
‘Yes, when I ask you to marry me.’
They were married in September of the following year.