The Man by the Bus Stop – Finale


Hi Everybody!

This is the conclusion of the story. I’m actually happy that it’s done. I have been thinking of making it into a broader story, but I don’t want to over complicate the main gist of the story. It’s kind of strange but I kind of got emotional as I was writing it. I’m not really good at writing sad tales, but the inspiration for this story came to me after I had a vision of a man sitting at the bus stop. Weird huh? Well, that’s all folks! Happy Reading :D

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“Tell her that though she has forgotten the promise that we made to each other with the vow that I said I would never break,  though she has turned away and left my heart and given hers to someone else, I will always love her… always and forever. Tell her Simone… tell her that I forgive her for abandoning this promise and love that I have for her. There is no hatred in my heart towards her even now… and though my heart is broken, I will always love her no matter what she decides to do in the end.”

He smiled a very painful smile that could make your heart break as another tear ran down his face. You could tell that all he could think about was about his runaway bride.

                What kind of girl was she that he couldn’t let this chick go! Simone thought about it feeling rather annoyed as she felt herself filling up with anger and swelling with envy. She doesn’t deserve this awesome looking guy!!! If she didn’t want him, then I’ll gladly take him! is what she thought, realizing like she sounded like someone on the rebound.

Simone simply could not accept this guys resolve to forgive such a blaring betrayal of this precious love that he once shared with a woman to whom she felt did not deserve his heart at all. Even though Simone had never met her, she had no sympathy for such a pathetic-minded woman who did not even think twice about cheating on the guy who was in a war overseas fighting to come back to his fiance. Simone was so infuriated that she really wanted this guy to let go of this sorry excuse of a relationship and move on with appreciation because he now knew the true colours of his cheating tramp. She could not understand how such a devoted guy ended up with such a girl who clearly had loose morals and yet be able to love her the way that he did.

               Give up on her already!!!! she screamed inside her head as Simone continued to seethe with anger, feeling completely outraged that he could remain unrelenting  to forgive such a betrayal that was the cause of his bleeding heart. Simone began to yell at him while feeling emotional and out of control,

“How could you honestly forgive such a woman who doesn’t even remotely deserve you let alone doesn’t even seem to care that you exist! How could y…”

“How could I not?” he interrupted.  “I have always loved her.” he said calmly without batting an eyelid. His unrelenting devotion was really starting to bother Simone quite a lot because she had a billion things she had to say based on her experience with heartbreak; however, she decided to not interrupt him out of politeness as he continued on to speak.

“Simone, you may not know this but there came a time where she began to love me too. When the reality of my line of work and the things I had to sacrifice began to surface during the course of our relationship, it seemed apparent that I may have overlooked how it may have been too much for her to handle. I assumed that the love we shared between us could withstand any trial. How wrong I was… Even though I promised her I would return… for her, it could be that she suffered while she waited for me. It could be that she grew weary of me and my promise…and it could be that she had finally decided to give up on me….She probably thought I was dead which isn’t necessarily far from the truth. She doesn’t know that if it hadn’t been for her being in my heart, I would not have fought to live for her once again. The day I came back from the dead was when I vowed I’d never die like that again and leave her alone like that again….that’s why Simone…” he shifted his body to look directly at Simone and said,

“I don’t want you to hate her because there is no hate in my heart for her….Try to understand where she is coming from too. She is my lifeline. She brought me back to life because she is the very reason that I live. I won’t taint my new reborn heart with bitterness….even though the sorrow I feel is difficult to bear, I still have faith in her.”

Simone began to calm down feeling speechless to his confession. She seriously did not know how to take what he was saying to her at all. His message to her was far from over as he continue on to say,

“Simone, please promise me that you’ll tell her that I have faith in her… and please tell her that I will wait until she returns her heart back to me even if it takes forever”.

Simone had never heard such heartrending words like that from any guy she had ever met. It made her feel foolish for being so callous about his ex-fiance. The guy spoke with such honest feeling in his words that she could not find it in her heart to deny his request.

“Ok… I’ll help you find her and tell her what you told me…” was what she said as she nodded in reassurance that she would keep her promise, unlike a certain someone that he cared for. It occurred to her that her own relationship with Clive was one filled with many broken promises on both their parts. Simone began to wonder if that was the reason for such a failed relationship in the first place. Both of them were selfish and unreasonable when it came down to it. She began to realize that she had not loved Clive in the way that this guy loved his fiance. It could be possible that Clive also did not even know the meaning of true love either, since he gave up on their relationship so easily and so soon.  How Simone wished she had a guy like the one sitting next to her at that moment…

Wait a minute, she didn’t even know his name but he knew hers…how in the world was that possible! she thought.

She wanted to ask him about that when all of a sudden the bus she had been waiting for had finally arrived.

“Oh it seems that the bus is here, are you getting on?” she asked him. While he was putting on his silk gloves, she noticed that his face was dry from all the crying and was now starting to glow. When had he wiped the tears off his face??? she wondered. She was there the whole time and never saw him once use the Kleenex tissue that she had offered to him earlier. He began to smile as if he could read her thoughts which kind of freaked her out. 

“Here” he said as he handed her a red umbrella that Simone was sure was not with him earlier. “Take this umbrella Simone. I don’t want you to get wet from the rain”.

She took the umbrella without thinking as she asked him “Aren’t you coming with me?”

“I’m waiting for the next bus” he answered back. “Thank you for listening to my story Simone.” is what he said as he continued to smile radiantly. It seems that off loading this burdensome story had been a therapeutic experience for this amazing guy that now stood upright and cheerful.

              I guess this promise means a lot to him, is what she thought as she took the umbrella off his hands.

“You’re Welcome,” she replied as she turned around to step onto the bus to pay the fair.

“Simone…here, take this rose as my way of saying thank you and goodbye.” he said as he handed her the white rose that was once nestled in the breast pocket of his wedding tux. Simone took the rose and smiled at it thinking it was a strange but romantic gesture. She looked back at him and noticed that his face looked different. It looked like it was glowing even more than before as he continued to smile at her with such a kind smile that it was almost  breath-taking.

“Are ya gettin’ on or are ya gettin’ off lady?” asked the rude bus driver to Simone who seemed to be in lala land feeling mesmerized by this new expression that she had not seen on the guy’s face the whole night until now. She turned to face the bus driver who had rudely awakened her from this wonderful moment and replied,

“Sorry, I’m getting on, I’m getting on, gees can’t you just wait?” The bus driver shut the doors behind her immediately ignoring her remarks just before she could do or say anything.  Simone swung around quickly wanting to wave  goodbye to the perfect stranger and ask for his name and number, but it was too late. The man had already disappeared so quickly that she wondered,

             How and where did he go? Where the heck did the guy go?

She was so stunned at the guy’s sudden departure that she crouched into the nearest seat to contemplate what had just happened. The whole evening was  just so weird and she knew for sure that it was not a dream because she had the red umbrella in her hand to prove it and yet the whole encounter still felt like a dream, or something out of the twilight zone. She looked at the umbrella carefully and thought,

             Wow this looks a lot like the one I left at Clive’s place. Hey wait a minute….!

She grabbed the handle of the umbrella and inspected it a little further and searched the handle to make sure that her eyes were not deceiving her. Her real umbrella had her name inscribed on it so she had to make sure that her mind was not playing tricks on her. She scanned the handle and recognized the name written on it was in the same penmanship as her own except that it did not just say “Simone” on the handle. Instead, what was inscribed on the handle now said:

Thank you Simone – Emmanuel“.

Emmanuel…is that the guys name? What a gorgeous name for a perfect stranger. Simone thought as she began to smile and giggle at herself reminiscing about this strange gift that he had given her and contemplated about the weirdness of this whole entire situation. It had just occurred to her that the depression she had been milling around earlier during the course of the entire evening was now gone. She felt very light for some reason… like as if a warm feeling was now enveloping her heart.  

She smiled to herself and thought “Thanks Emmanuel. I thought I was going to be alone this whole night but you came just in time.”

Just then she had remembered the white rose that he had given her as they had parted and searched her bag wanting to view it again. She felt one the petals of the flower and managed to pull it out of her lulu lemon bag. To her amazement, the flower that she had drawn out was no longer white in colour, but now had turned bright red. Simone could not believe that this was the same rose he had given her. Wasn’t it white earlier or was it red? I’m so sure it was white, why is it red now???? She thought as she examined the flower carefully. I must be imagining things, she reasoned. Simone continued to examine the flower and noticed that at the base of the stem was a small white note wrapped around it like one of those you would see on a Hershey Kiss chocolate. Simone unraveled the note to read what was written while contemplating  how sure she was that this little piece of paper was not there before. She reasoned that maybe she had not noticed it was on the rose earlier when the guy had given it to her as his parting gift since everything was done in such a rush and she was still getting sober by the minute. She unraveled the note and inside it read:

                                             To my bride – I love you always and forever. (John 3:16).

Simone began to feel a tidal wave of emotions envelope her as she began to choke up and cry while reading the note. She started to laugh at the same time as she began to realize the true identity of Emmanuel’s bride. She clasped the gift in her hand as she closed her eyes to whisper “Thank you” to the perfect stranger.

The End.

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The Man by the Bus Stop Pt. 2


Hi Everybody!

This is just a continuation of the story. Happy Reading :D

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“Today is the day that I was supposed to get married. You have no idea how much I have longed for this day to come. I had to part with her right after our engagement since I was deployed by my father who is the highest ranking Military General of the Army to head into battle on my first mission on a war against injustice. My fiance cried when she heard the news, but she knew I had to do what I had to do. I had made a vow with her that no matter what happened out on the field, I would definitely return to her. That was my way of reassuring her so that she wouldn’t lose hope while I was away because I intended to keep my promise. She told me that I shouldn’t make a promise that I couldn’t keep, but I knew that I would keep it. No, it was more like I was determined to keep it. When I returned a few days ago, I went to pick up my bride to surprise her with my return as my wedding gift to her, but to my dismay, she was no where to be found. I called her parents house to find out where she could be, but they refused to disclose where she had disappeared off to. I drove to the church that is behind us now and they locked me out thinking I was a ghost who had returned from the dead. I cried, I shouted, I screamed out her name, but no one heard me, no one paid attention. My bride was no where to be found and the loneliness I felt had started to sweep over me like a dark cloud, but I didn’t give up. I had to go find her if it was the last thing I was going to do. I went to the police station to file a missing persons report, but they told me that she wasn’t missing. She had instead ran off and married another man a couple of nights ago called Sammael, the infamous and corrupt local prosecutor of this city. My heart shattered at that moment when I heard this news. What hurts me the most is not that she married another man, but that she did not believe me when I said that I would come back for her. When I said that I’d be gone for a short while and to wait for me, because  I would definitely return. You see, I was sent by my father to fight a huge battle in a war that could not be avoided. I have battle scars left on my hands and feet, and I have a wound on my side after a long blade was plunged into me  by those who falsely accused me of doing something I never did while being made a prisoner of war. I was tortured for hours which felt like days, based only on false accusations; all because of what I believed in and was now fighting for…The only thing keeping me alive during that trial was the thought of returning to my waiting bride…”

The man took off his gloves and showed Simone his pierced hands as evidence that his far-fetched story was indeed a real experience. The thoughts running through Simone’s mind were, what kind of torture did he endure on this assignment? The scars were so horrific that she was left in a state of shock as he made mention what they also did to his feet. They had pierced something through both his feet but it was just too much information for Simone to wrap her head around. However, he refused to show her his feet since Simone’s grimace indicated that she had seen enough with just his hands as evidence of this inhumane torture. She believed that this guy was telling her the truth. Although she wanted to ask, she remained silent as he continued on with his story…

“I died on that battlefield because the suffering I endured killed me. My comrades thought I was dead and had prepared my burial ground since the local village doctors claimed that I wasn’t responding to medication and it seemed like I was in a coma state until they discovered that my heart had stopped beating. I officially died that day bleeding from head to toe which apparently was the same day that we had a massive earthquake that ripped the village in two.”

Simone could not hardly believe what he was saying because the whole story sounded like something out of a fiction story. At this point she felt a little sober and her mind was now alert still anticipating his next words.

He continued on with his story and said,

“When you consider what I’d been through, you’d think that I’d be filled with hatred and vengeance for what my captors did to me, but all I felt was a deep seated sorrow and an unbearable anguish ripping through my soul as I thought about my fiance and considered that she may have been right about the promise. I mean….how could I tell her I’d return to her when I was already dead?”

            Dead…dead…you mean you died? Is this guy for real??? No Way!!! thought Simone.

He paused as his eyes began to well again from the grief that had struck at his heart. Simone caught glimpses of a trickle running down his left cheek. Use the Kleenex man….that’s why I gave it to you, she thought. Simone could tell that he was in deep anguish as he sat there silently staring into the rain like a Greek statue. She moved closer and put her arm around his broad back to comfort him as he struggled to continue his painful past. He remained still and seemed to be breathing rather slowly but he chose to continue on with his story.

“I had no time to taint my heart with hatred you know….so I resolved within myself that I needed to forgive them for what they had done to me because my hope lay in reuniting with my bride.” he peered into the darkness as a car passed by while watching the rain that continued to pound the floor motioning him to continue this sorrowful tale…

“Simone, I was dead to everyone for three whole days so they put my body in a temporary make shift tomb inside a cave that was once used to store ammunition. As soon as my body was laid there to rest in peace, is as soon as I was forgotten by everyone. Nobody returned to give me a proper burial. Maybe because the war was far from over and the villagers had to escape to safety after the earthquake. It was not until I finally woke up, that I noticed I was in a cave. I was dressed in formal clothing typically a custom the villagers used for burial services that I was surprised to see myself in new robes. I got up and felt so strange because I felt no pain in my body. All the pain was gone and the blood that had covered me all over from the torture was already cleaned off my body. I was completely fine until I noticed the scars left on my hands and feet. They were still there but the crazy part about this whole thing was that I felt no pain whatsoever! See, look Simone look at my hands! Do you see them, do you see them? My scars they do not hurt” he said that as he showed her his hands once again.

“I see them, I see.” she exclaimed in affirmation to his question.

“My scars, they do not hurt. Only my heart does.” was what he said as he bowed his head now looking towards the ground as if he could find some level of comfort from the pool that swam around his shiny shoes.

Simone did not no how to console this level of grief. It felt like it was just too much for her to handle in her twenty-something life. She did not know what else to say so in desperation she asked him without too much thought,

“What happened next?”

Without much hesitation, the beautiful stranger continued his story and said,

“I stepped out of the cave and was about to go find out what was happening  outside when I noticed not to far off that I was being visited by some women from the village who I had once helped earlier escape a surprise attack from the enemy lines while I was on assignment. When they caught sight of me running to greet them, they thought I was a ghost when they realized I was still alive. They were so scared to go near me that they ran off to tell the other villagers of what they had seen. It was impossible for someone who was dead for three days to return back to life and in healthy condition. Everybody thought I was some kind of walking miracle…even I began to believe that it was a miracle. I was alive and I could now return to my bride was all I thought about. I was later told by a few witnesses that the women who had witnessed my resurrection were not really scared of me running towards them, but that they had seen a winged man standing behind me smiling back at them….I guess they saw an angel. When I think about that…I think it’s kind of funny, but I warned them not to tell anybody else apart from those they trusted that I was still alive since some people in the village would claim that they were telling lies and would accuse them of using witchcraft which is a common accusation in this small village.  On the other hand, I did not know what to make of what they had seen, but I’m sure they saw my guardian angel. Three days dead and the only thing I had in my heart was to return to my bride who was still waiting for me. I wanted to see her so badly that it hurt to be gone for so long.”

“How long were you away from her?’ Simone asked out of curiosity.

“Three years.” He replied.

“THREE YEARS!!!! That’s a LONG TIME!!!” She shouted.

“I know…at age 30 I was engaged to be married and then sent out to war before our wedding date. When the war ended and my mission was over, I truly thought I would return back to her side, but  instead of returning to her side like I had wanted, I already knew from a transmission relayed to me by one of the staff officers that I had already been reassigned to return to my fathers house and take care of his estate after we had won the war and ended the mission.”

“WHAT!!! WHAT!!!! WHAT!!!!!” Shouted Simone as she felt a deep seething anger rumbling in her spirit as she heard the story take a turn for the worse listening to this crazy new twist.  The guy just stared at the ground not moved by her outburst.

“Couldn’t you have said no to your father and told him you had someone waiting for you!!!???” Simone yelled, thinking that his father was someone who was just too much. A completely unreasonable man who only thought about himself and nobody else, not even considering what his own flesh and blood wanted. Maybe it was the Father’s fault for prolonging his sons days away from his fiance that made matters worse. If only he had come back a little sooner, maybe things would have been different is what she thought as she mumbled to herself in disgust. At the same time, she knew that she had no idea the circumstances surrounding his unusual relationship between this guy and his father. Was he an aristocrat that would not dare challenge his fathers demands or what? Simone’s  mind was just filled with too many unanswered questions that she did not know how to sift through all the crazy details. In fact, the whole story seemed too ridiculous and far-fetched. A part of Simone wondered if this whole encounter with this well dressed stranger was nothing but a dream from having drank so much alcohol in the evening. She did feel like she was getting sober the more she heard this man speak. Only time would tell if she was still drunk or not.

The man shook his head and replied,

“No, my father knew what he was doing when he reassigned me to come back to his estate.  At first, the reassignment seemed like he was being unfair to me if you didn’t know him personally, but what he wanted from me was to make sure I had everything  ready and prepared for our marriage by giving me his house as our surprise wedding gift so that me and my bride would have a place where we could spend our whole lives together. I was so overwhelmed and emotional that my father would offer such a thing to his son that I wanted to keep the house as a surprise from my fiance as well, so I decided that I wouldn’t tell her anything about it nor would I let any of her relatives know that I was back in town from the mission. I wanted to keep this present to the utmost secrecy. Once everything was prepared, I came out with an entourage of limos and close family and friends wanting to surprise her with a dream like wedding with an awesome celebration to follow after. That was the plan until I found out when I arrived at her house, she wasn’t there. Her parents wouldn’t let me in when I asked about her and they both had lied to me when they said that she had gone to the church to pray for my return. I went to the church that is located behind us now, and I was locked out by the priest because he thought I was a ghost who had come back from the dead and nobody around would tell me where she was even though I tried everything I knew how to do to find answers. I thought that she would wait for me, but I soon found out later on that she had rejected me for some other guy and now my heart is completely shattered. “

Simone saw tears flowing from this gentle soul’s face. Those tears ached so bad that she did not know how to console his bleeding heart. It was clear that he was hurting tremendously and as incredible as his story sounded, it felt like a familiar story that she had heard somewhere before…but where had she heard this story before????

“Simone”, the man said with a low but calm voice “Please do this one favor for me.”

Simone look at him as she wiped her tears and nodded for him to continue with his request. She had no idea when her own flood of tears had started to flow down her face, but one thing she could not deny was that her heart ached hearing an even more tragic tale of a love gone cold in comparison to her fall out with her boyfriend of 12 months and 3 days. Why were they both so unlucky??? Isn’t there any hope for such hopeless romantics? Simone felt like she needed another drink. This guys story was making her remember things she wanted to forget. Maybe I should offer him to have a drink at my place she pondered, knowing that he might say no to her offer seeing how she had just met him on such a lonely night as this. The beautiful stranger turned to face Simone as he took a hold of both her hands in his to asked her this one important request that he had been wanting to ask her all night,

“Simone, please help me find my bride and when you find her please give her this message….”

Story to be continued in Pt. 3

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The Man by the Bus Stop Pt. 1


Hi Everybody,

It’s been a while since I wrote a post at all and that’s all because of work and other things happening in my life. I feel like I’m going through a spiritual battle of the mind at the moment; however, I remain focused on the one who is able to keep my mind intact no matter what’s going on. It’s amazing what a person can do when under the right kind of pressure. That is how a jewel is formed. A rock will only remain a rock if you leave it on the side of the road, but once you apply the right kind of pressure such as that which has high heat intensity like that of a volcanic nature, that rock then transforms into a sparkling Jewel after enduring all that heat and fire pressure. That is the refining fire we all experience in life and some people turn into jewels while others just become chaff that blows in the wind. Not many people want to go through fiery trials to press towards the goal that God sets before us, but the only way to reach the prize is by enduring the trial. This is something I keep learning on a daily basis. It’s a pruning process and it sure isn’t fun, but God always has a greater picture in all of this which always has a signature line called victory.

Today, I’m going to attempt to write a story here for the first time on WPress for you all to read just for fun. It’s a fictional story, but there is a point to it so enjoy Sherline’s story telling time.

The Man by the Bus Stop

Simone had just gone through a terrible fall out with her boyfriend Clive. They had been fighting and bickering over the smallest of things and it just seemed like it was time to call it quits and just breakup. He called it quits first and as stubborn as she was, Simone had wanted to keep this relationship going and knew that this relationship had finally reached the end of its rope.  It was a rainy and dreary Saturday evening and the tears in her eyes were being washed away by the rain. She had forgotten her favourite red umbrella at her now ex-boyfriends place and ran to the closest bus shelter waiting for the 9:00 bus to Berkley Street. It was now 8:25pm and she had already missed the 8:20 bus. She had just finished drinking some rounds all by herself at the club located across the street from her ex-boyfriends apartment and was still not in a very good mood. Her mind was feeling numb and cloudy from all the crying she had drowned herself in while drinking several glasses of rum and coke and now felt sick in the stomach maybe from all the drinking she had done earlier during the course of this pathetic night.

           How could Clive end this? She muttered to herself, as she ran towards the bus shelter trying to escape the torrential downpour that mirrored her own feelings while at the same time trying to ignore the pain she was feeling within her chest. The unavoidable crackles of a broken heart sounded like the icy sounds made from the breaking of glass. She almost found it too difficult to breathe as her eyes kept welling droplets of anguish that now helped to maintain her regrets. She decided within herself that this was the last time she was ever going to be in a dead end relationship. Sometimes her stubbornness got in the way of rationalizing when something was not working out. She wiped her sobbing tears away as she headed towards the bus shelter still feeling queasy. She desperately needed to sit down.

When she arrived at the shelter, she assumed that she would be alone, but instead she saw a man wearing a full on tuxedo which looked like it was made by Armani sitting on the bench inside the bus shelter waiting for a bus. His appearance caught her by surprise as she noticed how his hair was remarkably shiny and long, a dark forest brown color with bronze skin. He wore a gold and diamond crusted wrist watch with silk looking gloves and black shiny shoes that completed the outfit. Simone could not help but stare for a long time at this gorgeous looking man. His face shone like the sun despite the bleak weather outside. It was clear to her that he looked wealthy, but why was he sitting here in the bus shelter? She wondered.  He sat in a hunched position staring at the ground as he peered into his own reflection in the puddles forming around his feet.

She had just had a completely terrible day and seeing him seated there on the bench was the calm in her storm.  To Simone, the guy looked like he stepped down from heaven and landed here on earth at the right time. It truly felt like something you would read in a romance novel or something you would watch in a tasteful drama. The aura around him felt warm and almost supernatural that she could not quite describe it in words. Mysterious – is all she could think of as a word to describe this stranger that sat there gazing into his own reflection. She could tell by just looking at him that he was totally out of her league, but there was just something intrinsically fascinating about him.

He was hunched over in deep contemplation. She could only see glimpses of the side of his face since some of his hair drooped forward obviously wet from the rain. Simone wanted to speak to him so badly, but was not sure she could even muster a word. I should stop chickening out and just do this! She thought, as she observed his frame from head to toe while he remained still and unmoving. Simone did not know how long she had been staring at him. It seemed like she had stared at him for hours, but it had only been less than a minute. As she inched over to sit on the bench to wait for the bus completely drenched from the autumn rain, the beautiful looking man began to  straighten up and sit upright as he sighed ever so quietly to himself looking forwards viewing the rain before he turned to look directly at Simone who was now seated on the far corner of the bench trying really hard to avoid staring at him any further like a crazy fan.

I must totally be freaking him out! He must think I’m some stalker girl or something… were the thoughts Simone had ringing in her head as she quickly turned her head away from his intense gaze to act like she had not been staring at him all that time. She tried hard to transfix her eyes towards the autumn shower pouring outside the bus shelter, attempting to stretch her head in an obvious motion peering out to see if the bus was coming in their direction in the blurry distance anytime soon.  She peeked outside hoping in her heart that the guy on the bench had not noticed her rude habit of staring at things she finds interesting.

Oh my God…he’s soo staring at me….he must be thinking I’m some kind of a freak! Calm down Simone… calm down…breathe in… breath out… breathe in… breath out…and don’t act soo obvious woman!

In her heart, Simone was blushing with embarrassment. She was so uncomfortable with the way the guy next to her was scanning her. She tried to act cool and act like his existence did not matter to her, but the more she tried to distract herself from noticing him, the more she fidgeted in her seat.

“Simone,” the man said with the most gentle voice she had ever heard.

“Simone…” he repeated her name again.

            Oh please say my name again…it sounds so nice to hear it coming from you… she thought, while giggling in her head as she started to trail off into fantasy land.

“Simone.” the man repeated yet again with a gentle but firm voice this time that rang like an alarm bell in her head to motion her back into reality and to alert her to stop daydreaming away which was yet another bad habit of hers.

“Yes!”   Simone answered back abruptly while trying to gather her faculties together still feeling intoxicated and at time feeling extremely excited to find that this guy was finally talking to her. She felt awkward at that moment and a little embarrassed at how drunk she was for one thing, and for also neglecting to respond to him calling out her name earlier. She could feel her face starting to heat up.Was it the alcohol?? She hoped that he could not see her blushing face in this poor excuse they call dim lighting. A part of her wanted to crawl in a small hole somewhere and die. She was just so ashamed at how she was reacting to this guys presence.

              Oh this is sooo embarrassing Simone. Look at what you’ve done girl You know that you should wake up and pay attention when someone as hot as he is is talking to you!!! Hey wait a minute…how does he know my name??? is what she thought as she just began to realize that this information was not something he could possible know. She turned to gaze at his appearance scrutinizing this stranger that knew her name, but how?????

She was just about to ask him how he knew her name when she noticed the tear-stained cheeks that glistened in the dim lighting on that beautiful face that now surveyed her. He had clear fiery-hazel looking eyes that in a way looked like the color you would see on a lion. His face was clean shaven and young that you could almost mistake him to be a teenager, but with the intensity of his eyes, she could tell that he was in his early thirties because of the wisdom she could discern was hidden behind his eyes. Simone was pretty good at predicting a persons age since she worked in the fraud department at the local Precent downtown as an administrative clerk. So many people try to get away with lying about their age as they fill out forms that she hands out during investigations that she now had a knack at distinguishing how old a person really was. It was a strange gift she had since she was a child so she knew for sure by the looks of this man, he was definitely in his thirties even though he looked like a teenager. He had on an amazing fragrance of cologne lingering in the air that intoxicated her senses, but Simone was not sure if that was just the alcohol kicking in that was making her feel kind of high. He was average height and muscular in build so it was clear to her that he exercised on a regular basis. She could not help but notice too many details about the guy that she almost ignored that the man had left evidence on his face that he had been weeping. It looked like he had been crying for a very long time too because his radiantly featured face was masked with a hard to conceal type of pain that seemed so unbearable to ignore and yet he continued to search Simone’s eyes for her full attention.

Simone did not understand why she did what she did next, but she decided to move from her initial position from the far edge of the bench to now sit closer to this stranger in order to offer him some tissues that she had in her purse to wipe away those agonizing tears that were staining his radiant appearance. This was the first time for Simone to see a man cry before her. The only time she had ever seen a man cry was in the movies and even then those tears she had seen in so many movies seemed so fake and contrived that she was convinced that real men never cry; well, at least her ex-boyfriend did not bat an eye-lid as he broke up with her. The memory of her recent break up started to fuel her mind with rage, but she quickly brushed the thought aside as she decided to ignore her anger and attend to this stranger who knew her name.

“Are you ok??’ she asked, as she searched in her lulu lemon bag for a Kleenex tissue pack to hand to him hoping he would use it to wipe away his tears. It was strange…Simone felt no fear sitting next to this complete stranger, let alone a man at that…There was just something about him that made her feel like she was finally at home even though technically, her real home was 25 street lights away.

The crying stranger said,

“You have a beautiful name Simone. Do you know what your name means Simone?” Simone stopped searching for the Kleenex as she was startled by the question.

                Why is he asking me this question???

“No, actually I don’t actually know the meaning, but it’s my Grandmothers name that my mother gave me when I was born. Hey…Wait a minute…how do you know my name mister?” she asked, as she glanced at his face expecting an answer only to find him draw a faint smile on his face as he looked at her. Simone somehow knew he would not answer that question as he remained silent so she returned to search the contents of her bag still feeling drunk in the process for the Kleenex that she wanted to offer him. Eventually, Simone had finally found the small pack of Kleenex tissue in her bag and drew out one for him to use. He thankfully grabbed her sweet offer, but made no attempt to use it to wipe away his glistening face. The tears had now crystallized on his cheeks due to the cold air blowing around the shelter and now they seemed to be shining like a trail of glitter stains.

The man in the tuxedo carefully looked at the Kleenex that Simone had offered him as she continued to watch him clasp the neatly-folded tissue in both of his gloved hands, first staring into space before continuing on with the conversation.

                 Aren’t you going to use the tissue??? is what Simone wondered as she saw no movement from him to wipe the tears off his face.

“It means ‘listener'” he continued on to say, unperturbed and seemingly aware that Simone was too focused on his gloves rather than the words coming out of his mouth.

“If you take the Hebrew meaning of the root name Simon, it means ‘he has heard’. A friend of mine has a similar name to yours and he was a very dear friend of mine, however, he was called Simon, not Simone.” He stopped talking to look back at Simone and said,

“Simone, will you listen to my story?” The man asked her with all earnestness while searching deeply into her eyes with such a piercing gaze that she felt like he could see right through her.

Simone felt unusually uncomfortable with his gaze that even though her heart wanted to run away, she felt a strange comfort in being there with him. She almost felt intoxicated by his gaze but reasoned within herself that she probably was still drunk since she had been drinking a few shots earlier in the evening which could explain why she felt a little flushed.

“Yes, I’ll listen”, was her soft-spoken reply almost forgetting that he asked her a question.

Simone agreed to listen to him not because she felt that she had to or that she had any sense of pity for him, but she decided to do so because she felt an overwhelming curiosity towards this stranger that she wondered why such a man who seemed to look like he had everything at his finger tips, based on the way he was dressed, was now sitting here in this rustic bus shelter with an expression so painful that it felt worse than her ailing broken heart. To Simone, it felt like she was witnessing a shattered soul. Simone felt a strange wave of empathy towards this stranger that made her want to help him to stop feeling so wounded and yet she knew in her heart that she truly did not know how to go about it neither was she in the right condition to do so. She was a little too tipsy and giggly at the same time.

Heck, She was no Dr. Phil….and yet she still desired to embrace him and comfort him. However, because she had no idea who he was, Simone felt very self-conscious and a little cautious around this stranger that even in her timidity, she resigned herself to be the listening ear that he wanted and had determined within herself that she was willing to hear whatever he had to say since that was enough for him, or so she thought. As he watched her eying him in anticipation to hear his story, he momentarily hesitated as if he were deciding whether or not she was the right candidate to share his personal tale. She was not sure if his scrutinizing eyes would disqualify her but he then took another deep breath, accepting Simone’s full attention and began to narrate his story.

Story to be continued in pt. 2…..

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