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It was raining on that night, and walking home was going to be quite the chore. I would have asked for a ride if anyone were willing, but I knew that my manager was too much of a shrew that I would never get a ride from her. I decided that taking the city bus would be the best way of getting home. It would be a five mile bus ride from work to the bus stop near my home, and then a mile long walk from there to my place. The one mile of walking in the rain seemed like a pain in the ass, but I knew it would be better than walking the full six miles home. I gathered my things and headed to the bus stop from work.
It was awkwardly empty outside. The bustle of the city seemed to avoid the certain street that I was waiting on. As I stood under the bus stop, the rain picked up and the air began to chill. I turned to look down the road to see if I could spot the bus or its headlights, but I had seen nothing but a silhouette of a man. His steps seemed almost crooked as he limped down towards the bus stop. As he gotten closer I realized that it was just a homeless man.
He looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back and gave him a gentle nod. Without saying a word, he sat down on the bench next to me. I never turned around to look at him, but I knew that he was watching me as I stood near him. The hair on my arm stood up as I felt his eyes watching me. I just kept trying to convince myself that I had nothing to worry about. It was then that he spoke to me. His voice seemed to be foreign almost.
“I don’t like traveling these nights. The rain is much too cold. Do you enjoy the rain, sir?”
I turned to look at him and decided to be polite to the man. I responded, “I enjoy the rain, but the coldness does get to me sometimes.”
“The coldness brings out your insides. It’s in your breath you see. Will you be riding the bus?”
I passed off his comment as simple gibberish. I don’t blame him for being a little out of it. Anyone would be if you were in their position. I told him that I was indeed waiting to ride the bus, and a smile formed on his face.
“I’m glad that you chose tonight. I’m tired of riding all alone. Will you sit next to me?”
“I’d prefer to have a seat all to myself if you don’t mind,” I said. Just then the sound of a loud motor could be heard in the distance. As I turned to face the direction of the sound, I could see the headlights in the distance. Relief struck me, and I turned to look at the homeless man. He had left and I could once again only see his silhouette in the distance. The rain suddenly began to fall even harder.
I got on the bus, and paid my fair. I asked the driver if he knew the homeless man, and he told me that he did not. It seemed strange to me because the homeless man talked as if he always rode on that bus. I simply shrugged, placed the thought in the back of my head, and turned to face the rows of seats. An attractive woman sat in the middle of the bus staring out the window. I decided to sit across from her so as to strike up conversation.
I took my seat as the bus began to move down the road. The woman, without turning her head to look at me began to speak. Her voice was delicate and yet stern.
“There are twelve seats in here. Why would you sit right there? It’s not very polite you know.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll move if you want?”
She turned to look at me.
She was beautiful. Bright blue eyes. Long brown hair. A warm aura. A gentle glow. The perfect woman.
I was stunned by beauty. No words escaped from my mouth as I sat dumbfounded by this angel sitting across from me. She turned away and began coughing. It was a very harsh cough. The sound was one that should not come from such a fragile woman. A concerned look then formed on her face.
“Are you alright?” I said.
“I’ve been sick for days now. I don’t know what is wrong. I just get into coughing fits.”
“Maybe you have a cold is all? I’m sure you’ll be alright, beautiful.”
“I don’t think that’s the case. I feel like death is coming. I don’t think I have long.”
I didn’t know what to say. She spoke with such certainty with no hint of sarcasm. This woman really felt as if she was going to die due to whatever illness had stricken her. Realizing that the illness might be contagious, I backed away from the woman.
Just then, I spotted a bright yellow light forming out of the corner of my eye. I looked out the window to see a burning apartment complex with police surrounding the outside with several detained criminals. Just a bit further was a police blockade. As the driver stopped I heard him say something about a “missing fugitive,” and to “not pick up any more people at the stops.” I turned to ask the woman to see if she was going to comment on what was happening.
She was gone.
I panned my head around to see if she had gone towards the back of the bus, but I realized that she had completely disappeared. I didn’t know what to think. I knew the bus had not stopped. So, the possibility of her getting off without me knowing was impossible. I walked up to the bus driver and sat in the seat catty corner his.
“Hey, did you drop of that lady? She’s not on the bus.”
He looked at me as if I were crazy. “There was no lady on this bus,” he said.
I knew best to not keep pestering him with my presence. He seemed annoyed as it was. I moved back towards my original seat and sat down. I had to try and convince myself that the woman never existed. Maybe I was just overtired and seeing things. The rest of my trip was spent trying to piece together the strange things I had encountered that night.
The bus had arrived at my destination and came to a slow stop. I nodded to the driver who gave me a small nod back. By now it was somewhere around midnight as I began walking towards home. I didn’t live in a very dangerous neighborhood. So, I ruled out any fear of getting mugged or assaulted. Instead, all of my attention was spent thinking about the homeless man, the woman, and the burning building surrounded by the police. I needed to get home. I needed to lie down and forget this night.
The ten minute walk from the bus stop seemed much shorter due to my constant thinking. As I approached my home, I finally pushed all my thoughts in the back of my head where they belonged for the moment. At that moment, all I wanted to do was sleep, and doing so meant to stop pondering what had happened.
I opened the door and closed it behind me assuming that none of the thoughts would follow me inside. I threw my keys on the coffee table and walked towards my bedroom. As I approached my bedroom, I heard a crunching noise as I took a step past the window. I froze in place and inspected the window. My heart was next to freeze as I realized that my home had been broken into. I slowly raised my head looking down the hall towards my room. In the moonlights glow I could see the feet and legs at the entrance of my room. However, what caught my eye most was not simply his presence, but something else entirely. What caught my attention was what was in his hand.
It had moonlight glistening from it. He was clutching a large blade. Then I knew, Death was coming.