Confounded. She stands there waiting. She shifts her weight into her left leg. She rubs off the remnants of slumber mixed with the dust of morning traffic. She shifts her weight again. There was a patch of scraped skin on her knee courtesy of the not-so-subtle, edge-of-the-bed contact earlier. She was annoyed that she couldn’t recall its official term; about as much as she was annoyed that it was a result of an attempt to catch the bus she may have already missed. She thought of taking a cab and took a few moments to think of how to tell the driver where she wanted to go in Mandarin.
Lucky break. The Blue 31, her bus, rounds the corner. She takes the empty seat closest to the door. She looks out the window on her right and stares at the distance. Her near-sighted eyes slowly focused on the man across the lane where her bus momentarily stopped. She wondered what it would be like to have his life. She wondered about all the privileges she might have missed if she only sold flowers. And then he smiles. Defying the hard life she thought he had. It could have been something else; a smirk or just a random expression. But to her it was a surprising smile. It was one that made her day more bearable and her life somehow easier.