A Passing By // Karlie Reagan
The bus buzzes lightly
with noise and chatter,
the sun shining hotly through the window,
and the AC too cold on our faces.
We wait patiently for the rest of the party to return.
It has been a long day for me, sitting in the heat.
I have watched him cautiously,
knowing that a second too long would suggest something
other than the interest I had.
Blue-eyed and gentle, I pictured him
walking on the bus and pushing by me.
“Hello,” I would say.
“You looked good out there today.”
And I could feel the blush on my cheeks, my nose,
even just thinking of speaking to him.
“Thanks,” He’d answer and then, oh, that smile.
That smile of joy and straight teeth, caused by me.
Caused by me talking to him, by his seeing me.
Anxiously I wait, ignoring the loudness of the bus,
thoughts buzzing like angry bees while he and the others
slowly climb aboard, tall and confident.
I’m going to do it this time,
I tell myself.
All you have to do is smile and say hello.
And the girls beside me are smiling in anticipation
for they know, too, how badly I’ve wanted this.
They know any second, as he comes closer and closer,
that I will fall or rise to the occasion at hand.
And he’s here now, sweetly in front of me and the plan
surges forward like a wave in my chest.
The words are flipping at the tip of my mouth:
Hello, great job, hello, hello.
But just when they’re about to spill forth,
my throat is blocked by a knot of what-ifs.
What if he doesn’t like me? What if things go wrong?
The blush burns angrily instead of prettily
as he keeps walking by me.
The girls wilt with disappointment and I hang my head.
He’s sitting in the back row and now,
my chance is gone.
Howdy! Karlie is a sophomore at Morningside. She is currently majoring in History and Political Science with an English minor. Her favorite show is Rick and Morty.
My name is Jessie Eighmy and I’m from Glidden, Iowa. I’m a freshman on the X-Path, currently exploring Psychology and Nursing.