Declan Andrews – Shabby Old Seat
Shabby Old Seat
I couldn’t have been on the bus for much longer than a meagre ten minutes when you called it to an unexpected stop and stepped aboard wearing what could only be described as the perfect outfit. Prior to your arrival the bus had been moving at a painfully sluggish pace and I had seriously considered taking up this intolerable issue with the driver who looked treacherously lethargic in his horrid flat cap and was contributing to a somewhat subdued atmosphere on not only our bus, but probably every bus in the city. He was a menace, I was sure of it. I won’t deny though that when you hopped on and chose to sit in the vacant shabby old seat which just happened to be next to me this changed everything and I actually willed the driver to go much, much slower. I wanted to offer him a bribe to induce excessive tardiness but I was well aware of the fact that such an immoral venture could be a long winded process and quite easily turn into a fiasco. Immorality aside, I also recognised that the endeavour would undoubtedly involve me vacating my seat and therefore force me to run the risk of opening up a small, albeit precious, window of opportunity for some covetous stranger who certainly did not deserve the pleasure of sitting next to a creature of such unspeakable beauty. I could already picture the intruder claiming my seat as his own and grinning like a fiend over his shoulder at me as I languished in the back row among a band of dastardly drunks. Having given such disturbing notions what I deemed to be sufficient thought I washed my hands of bribery for the time being and sat in my seat, speculating over what someone of your aforementioned beauty could possibly be thinking. I couldn’t be sure, for I am no mind reader, but I hoped it was something along the lines of; ‘My goodness this boy sat next to me sure is fetching.’ With this playing on my mind and the promise of a few evening drinks together at some pleasant inner city bar on the agenda I decided to test you in the only sensible way I could think of; so I pressed the button on my phone which caused it to awake and reveal my wallpaper – a picture The Smiths. I presumed that this would give you an excuse to show off your impeccable taste in popular music by talking to me. In hindsight I do recognise the daft nature of my plan but the heat of the moment was particularly overwhelming. Honestly, I was lucky I didn’t just pass out. Besides, I am certain you have been subject to far more absurd attention seeking schemes in your time. Irrespective of all that you definitely saw the wallpaper, there is no doubt about it – I saw you glance – but you didn’t capitalise on the chance I had given you to engage in conversation so I concluded that you didn’t even know who The Smiths were and therefore had horrible taste in music. I sat for few moments wallowing in the disappointment of your deplorable musical taste but it didn’t prevent me from coming to the quick conclusion that the next stop was probably yours. It was dreadfully blatant as you started to shuffle in your seat, checking your pockets for any indication of lost possessions; I hadn’t stolen anything but the man behind us who was drowning in an oversized yellow anorak looked more than capable of petty theft. Despite his chilling glare you didn’t seem too alarmed having completed a routine inspection of your pockets and adjusted the position of your body, perfectly poised to leave without causing too much fuss. One gentleman, who looked suitably dishevelled, had already vacated his seat and now stood at the front of the bus waiting for the next stop having caused unprecedented havoc; tripping, falling and unintentionally stamping all over his hapless neighbour. You made no such mistake and arose, graceful in comparison. I assure you, I wouldn’t be so insincere to pretend that the prospect of your departure didn’t faze me but what made it worse was the fact I had to watch as you vacated that shabby old seat, danced your way down the aisle and finally exited the bus. It was a cruel display on your behalf and I think that for a moment everyone on the bus seriously contemplated heading home and crying themselves to sleep. Even so, the driver shut the doors behind you in murderous fashion, excluding both you and your consummate beauty, and I wanted him to choke on his apple for this unforgivable deed. While not even a lifetime supply of free bus passes could have convinced me to acquit the driver, I would have forgiven you had you not quickly retrieved my attention by simultaneously emancipating your very stylish umbrella and walking past the window on my side of the bus as the driver, who I now hated with an unrivalled passion, hauled me away. It wasn’t long before the scent of your perfume had absconded through the only open window, in a truly desperate attempt to chase you down, and I was forced to accept that you were gone.