It was a silent night at the bus stop. Everything was quiet, eerily quiet for a Friday night. Too quiet. With that the night was broken. A boy was walking towards the bus stop, with his friend who was talking loudly.
Beer bottle in hand, it was clear that the pre-drinking that been in fall force. The boy’s friend was yelling that the boy had broken up with his girlfriend earlier that night.
“Forget Alice man. Drown your sorrows in drink. Tonight, you will be a man. A free man.” He said, slurring his words as he spoke, walking towards the road rather than on the pavement. Being scared for his safety, the boy was unsuccessfully trying to get his friend out of the pavement.
Attempting successfully, the boy said to his friend, “I think we need to get you home.” The boy himself was not drunk, he had so wanted to be, but he thought that he was going out for a film night with his girlfriend, but this didn’t happen, instead the breakup did. One text later and his girlfriend was gone. After his breakup, his friend had decided to drink. For the both of them. He was therefore drunk at 10pm on a Friday night.
“I’ll call you a taxi.” The boy said.
“You do that.”
“Taxi should be here in 5 minutes.”
His friend nodded. “I told them your address. Thought you were too smashed to tell them.”
“You coming?” He said getting into the Taxi.
“No. I bought these tickets might as well use them.”
“Fair.” The friend replied.
It was quiet waiting for the taxi, the friend was worried that he was going to be sick, so it was taking all his energy not to do so. The taxi arrived, they whispered their goodbyes and the night was quiet once again.
Ten minutes had passed and not one sign of the bus. The timetable said every ten minutes, but he wasn’t convinced. When were they ever on time?
His thinking was broken, along with the silent night, the sound of heels echoed there. The wearer sounded uncomfortable being her first time wearing them, she just wanted to get to the bus stop.
A female voice called in the night, “Eliza, where are you going? Come back. His here. Tonight’s the night if you know what I mean.” She winked. Eliza wasn’t paying attention. She tried to drown out the music, she had had enough of the party. The people. Her friend. Everything.
“I’m tired, Molly. I’m going home. Maybe Adam isn’t the one for me. Tonight, was never the night. Enjoy the party. Maybe you can try instead.”
“OK.” She closed the door behind her, not bothering to say Goodbye. Molly was quite pissed off, but Eliza was past caring. Her feet hurt, and she wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and finish the book that she was reading. Turns out parties were not her thing. Who would have guessed?
She stumbled to the bus stop. The boy was staring at her, but she didn’t have the guts to say anything. She was embarrassed after all her business had been aired on the street and he had just heard everything.
She sat at the bus stop taking off her heels, placed them in her bag that she had and then brought out some foldable flat shoes that she had.
The boy looked at her amazed. He wanted to say something, but she had just had all of that happen to her. I should just keep my distance, he thought.
She left her bag on the seat and checked the timetable, every ten minutes. It may have said ten minutes but was it right, probably not.
He sat down on the seat. Eliza ignored him, wanting to stay out of his way. She texted her Mum, explaining that she was leaving early and put her phone away. The party was weird, she had been looking forward to it for weeks but was disappointed. Not because of the boy, she didn’t want him anyway. She had been waiting for weeks to tell Molly that she was ace, but it never materialised. Fast forward to the party and it was too late.
The boy was getting bored, 15 minutes had past, and the bus hadn’t arrived. He spoke, “15 minutes it’s taken this poxy bus.”
“Really 15 minutes. When are they on time? It’s a joke.” Eliza replied.
“Sorry about what your friend said earlier.” He replied. “I’m Adam by the way.”
Eliza was shocked. Why was “Adam” talking to her? They were just waiting for the bus. “It’s OK. I didn’t really want to be there anyway. I’m Eliza but you know that anyway.”
“Yes, I do. I mean not that I want to, but you know, the party… I’m going to spoke talking now. Before I say anything stupid.”
Eliza laughed. She was content in leaving the conversation as it is, but Adam continued.
“Going anywhere else tonight? The night is still young?” He was nervous for some reason, not because she was good looking but because she was sweet and he kind of felt sorry for her. “I know that I said that I was going to shut up, but it’s been a shit night.”
“Home. Where I don’t have to be standing up and can just read books with my cat, no boys or anyone allowed.” She replied. “Looks like we have both had shit nights then.”
“OK. I know you didn’t ask me but I’m going to the cinema. My girlfriend broke up with me, so you could say that I’m riding solo.”
“I can’t believe you just said that.” She sighed, laughing at the same time due to embarrassment. “Have fun at the cinema.” She hoped that the bus would finally make an appearance, but she had lost all hope as the road remained empty.
“You can come with me you know.” He asked but quickly added. “You know if you want. You don’t have to.”
“What film is it?” She asked tentatively. She didn’t even know why she was asking but she was interested. “I’m not going with you if it is something shit like Transformers or something.”
“Transformers aren’t shit.” She gave him a look. “Explain.”
“Fine. You ready.” He nodded, and she took a deep breath. “Where are the plots in these films? Literally, it’s all action and no substance. Don’t get me started on the female characters. They are basically just eye candy. Talk about the female gaze. Seriously, they are just shit.”
She nodded. “Do you understand?”
“I mean I don’t think there meant to be highbrow films which I guess you are in to and no I am not watching Transformers or some trashy action film.”
“So, what are you seeing?”
“Something good. My girlfriend loved popcorn films and it was my choice so no popcorn films for me. I am going to see Baby Driver.”
“Baby Driver? Now you’re talking. Still a popcorn film though but just more complicated”
“Yeah. Edgar Wright is kind of my filmmaking hero. I want to be a director you see.”
“That’s cool. I have heard good things about the film. So, you want to be a director?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Well, I guess tonight will help then, all experience is a good experience.”
“True.” He was beginning to like her. Not in a romantic way. She seemed like a cool human. “So, you joining me?”
“If this bus actually turns up.” She responded. “I have wanted to see it for ages, who cares if it is a random boy that I literally met like 5 minutes ago.”
“Hey, I am not a random guy.”
“I mean... I only know your first name.” Eliza replied.
“True.” He smiled. He touched her arm to get her attention. “Look the bus is coming.” It was just turning around the corner.
“Finally.” She said.
They requested the bus and it stopped. They walked onto the bus with Adam allowing Eliza to get on the bus first, going up the stairs and onto the upper deck.
It took 20 minutes to get into town that night. They spoke the whole way speaking about anything from school to life and especially films.
The thing about chance was that it was the right time and the right place. Two people collided over a really late bus. A chance for friendship to bloom and for relationships to form. Somethings are just right and that was true of the relationship of Eliza and Adam.