By P. Berman, & K. Hecht, A. Hosack
I am so tired. But it was a good day.
Claire is on the bus traveling home. She’s gotten so used to the routine, that she’s not really observing much of what’s going on around her. She’s completely oblivious to the fact that she’s been under observation since getting on the bus. There is a young man dressed in a suit and tie who’s been watching her for the last 10 minutes.
She is beautiful. And she’s always alone.
Craig had been watching Claire for the last week. She always seem to follow the same routine. She got on this bus at 5 o’clock Monday through Friday. She always preferred the window seat. She never talked to anyone while she was waiting for the bus to arrive. And she never talked to anybody on the bus. The older woman who’d been sitting next Claire got up and left at the next bus stop. Claire showed no signs of noticing.
Will she realize I’ve already been on the bus? How deeply is she really into her own head?
Craig straightened his clothes and stood up. He walked quietly up the aisle of the bus towards Claire.
He had been sitting at the very back of the bus so he could get a good view of her, but she wouldn’t see him. He is right next to her now. He intentionally made a big production out of sitting down and leaned against the back of the bus seat with a thump. “Woe, has this been a hard day. I am exhausted,” he said, as if talking to the bus in general.
Claire was startled. She turned towards him and saw him leaning back against the bus seat. He turned his head briefly towards her and said, “hello I hope you don’t mind if I sit here. It was the first empty seat and I am so tired.” “I’m tired too,” Claire said softly. “If you tell me about your day, I’ll tell you about mine,” Greg said.
He’s cute. I’m not sure I should be talking to a stranger on the boss?
Claire wasn’t sure what to do. Craig noticed her hesitation and immediately said, “Okay I’ll go first. I work in a bank. When I was at teller, I used to think that when I got promoted to manager it would be the greatest day of my life. Little did I realize that my regular hours were over. Now, this is a lucky day, I actually got out at 5 o’clock,” Craig said sighing and looking directly at her.
It’s my turn. He is expecting me to say something.
(1-minute pause) Craig was a little annoyed that she was still not talking to him. But he said, “I guess I should’ve introduced myself. I’m Craig, and you are,” he said holding his hand out towards her. “I’m Claire,” she said blushing and shaking his hand. She took a quick look out the window and realized her stop is coming up. “It was nice to meet you, I’ve got to go,” Claire said. Claire rushed off the bus. She stood at the bus stop and watched it as it drove away. Inside the bus, Craig saw her and waved. Claire waved back and he smiled.
Is it safe to talk with strangers on the bus?
How might you know if someone was safe or not?
To read about strategies for deciding if a stranger is safe or not, go to: