The crowded bus shakes as its wheels hit the rough road. I grip the handlebar. The old man across me continues to whisper. His wine age echoes through his crumpled skin. He holds by his trembling hands a thread-tattered turquoise rosary, rubbing his thumb and forefinger, back and forth, along the thin lines and small globes. His lips move with agitation. His eyes stay still with solemnity.
I hear him murmur, “Maria, wife, Maria, wife,” for a hundredth time. Everybody besides me redirects their eyes on somebody else’s or on their brightly lit phones. I hear a sob, a sniff and a sorrow. His body shivers until it trembles. A loud honk erupts to prevent the car crash and the bus driver steps on the brake pedal.
The old man stumbles on the floor. The crowd panics as blood spills out of his mouth. The bus driver shouts, “calm down!” to the passengers. Some kids shriek, some women cry and some men choose to curse. Pairs of hands grab the old man for salvation, but I stand still—staring in awe.
WORD COUNT: 181
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